The expected announcement on elections in 2015 galvanized the Arab parties and Hadash into action on Tuesday, when representatives of the three factions met to discuss the possibility of running as one party.
United Arab List-Ta’al, Balad and Hadash are concerned they will be left out of the next Knesset after the threshold was raised from 2 percent to 3.25 percent in March 2014.
"Now, more than any elections in the past, we must act with the utmost responsibility and create a united Arab list that will keep the unique political platforms for each party, while raising the level of Arab representation from 11 seats to 16," Balad MK Hanin Zoabi said. "There is no way to deal with the rising racism without uniting the Arab parties."
Another MK who attended the meeting told Ynet, "We talked about the 'Nationality Law,' the High Follow-Up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel and the possibility of going to early elections. No decisions have been made and there'll be more meetings."
Attending the meeting were, among others, MKs Ahmad Tibi, Masud Ganaim and Ibrahim Sarsur from UAL-Ta'al; Zoabi, Basel Ghattas and Jamal Zahalka from Balad; and Dov Khenin and Afou Agbaria from Hadash.
A senior political source in the Arab sector said all three parties have agreed in principle to a united list, but clashes were expected over the question of who will head the party and how spots on the list will be assigned.
He added that Hadash suggested putting an academic figure at the head of the party, rather than a political one. "But Zahalka and Tibi have the best chances of leading such a list," he said. "They gathered their support in the Arab society from their public work."
If and when such a list is formed, voters are expected to see new faces. MK Sarsur has already announced he will not be running in the upcoming elections, and sources in the southern branch of the Islamic Movement confirmed that he has not changed his mind.