This year, 2019, started with dissolving the Knesset already in January, and heading to an early elections on April 2019. The four parties composing the Joint List since 2015, ran in two separate lists, Hadash and AMC received six seats (4 and 2, respectively), the NDA and the Islamic Movement – 4 seats, 2 each. The April elections witnessed the lowest turnout ever amongst the Palestinian population, citizens of Israel (49.5%).
As for the last 20 years, Netanyahu has escalated his incitement against the Palestinian citizens as well as the left, by the fascisitization of the Israeli politics and society and supporting the Zionist-religious groups of the far right, the settlers and racists. Netanyahu’s party, the Likud, received 35 seats in April. “Kahol-Lavan”, a merge between several smaller factions (centerright), got 35 seats too (0.3% less than the Likud).
Until June this year, 2 months after the April elections – Netanyahu was unable to form a government, and we voted in favor of dissolving the Knesset and conducting new elections – it was obvious that it will be the best chance to get rid of Netanyahu and his plans for another racist government.
Re-elections were set for September 17th.
There were many reasons for the low turnout in the April elections, and we will not go into details, but it mainly was the fascist deterioration, the Nation-state law, the ongoing occupation, the high cost of living-which all created a sense of frustration within the Palestinian population citizens of Israel. Having said that, when the date was set for the re-elections - the 4 components, led by Hadash started the efforts of re-forming the Joint List – to be voice of the Arab Palestinian population, citizens of Israel, and to lead the unity of struggles and be the genuine left on the political arena.
We note here, that Netanyahu is under investigations for corruption for the past few years, staying in power stalls the chances of legally prosecuting him, whereas the first hearing will take place on the first week of October. On the one hand, the Joint List has succeeded in raising the Arab voters’ turnout, and in shrinking the influence of the Zionist parties on them, on the other.
13th seats of the Joint List, Netanyahu’s loses majority
Last Tuesday, Sept 17th, we made an achievement receiving 10.6% of the votes (over 470000 votes) - and 13 seats at the Parliament, and becoming the 3rd largest faction in the Knesset (again, first time in 2015). It is now obvious that we have succeeded in unifying the voice of the Arab Palestinian population remaining on their lands after the 1948 Nakba, alongside the progressive Jewish forces of peace, equity and democracy; and in shaking the rightwing settlers’ racist government led by Netanyahu.
This was possible due to weeks of hard committed work by our cadres, acknowledging that our organization and members are the main players in the field. In addition to leading the Joint List, out of the 13 MK’s CPI has five 5 MK’s (Arabs and Jew), Islamic Movement 3, NDA 3 and the AMC 2 MK’s.
Netanyahu’s party, the Likud, became the 2nd largest faction (with 32 seats, and “Kahol-Lavan” with 33)- hence him and his accomplices did not only fail in achieving the majority but also did not reach the support of 61 MK to form a government. Netanyahu failed also in exporting his crisis and political bankruptcy through the bloody incitement against the Arab Palestinian citizens and the Joint List during the elections.
With the mission of forming a government given to Netanyahu few days ago – (based on the Israeli president’s assumption that Netanyahu has the best chances of forming a government over Benny Gantz, head of “Kahol-Lavan” who received 33 seats, and based on the latter’s request) - “Kahol-Lavan” have meanwhile failed, as expected, in constituting an alternative that can lead to better political practices that signal a change in the near future.
The Communist Party of Israel had deliberated, in depth, the issue of the Joint List’s recommendation on Gantz to form a government. This was an issue because we are convinced that “Kahol-Lavan” is nothing near to an alternative for the “Likud” and Netanyahu – but it was the conscious acknowledgement, that Netanyahu is the worst and most dangerous to the Arab Palestinian citizens, to democracy, to the Palestinian issue and to the entire regional situation. Also, the Joint List had declared since its re-establishment this July that the main goal is to bring Netanyahu and his reign down, to stop him- again- from forming a government that will continue the fascist deterioration, occupation and annexation plans, and the oppression of human and civil rights.
The situation now is that if Netanyahu fails to form a narrow-government based on the ultrareligious parties and the ultra-right in the coming 6 weeks, the mandate will go to Gantz who declares he wants a government without the religious parties and he also fails until the end of this year – then we will go to additional general elections in Feb-March 2020.
Finally, as we are proud of this great trust granted by the masses, we call to consolidate and preserve it as well as investing this great achievement in serving the causes of our peoples – beginning with bringing down the reign of Netanyahu and his criminal bunch.
It is highly important to note here that CPI, Hadash and the Joint List will continue to resist every government that is right-wing, religious, fascist and neoliberal; every government that continues the siege on Gaza, the occupation and annexation plans and the dismantlement of the Arab countries and the anti-imperialist forces in the region – is a criminal government that must fall.
Warmest salutes to our supporters everywhere, Palestinians and Jews, to our party´s cadres and leaders- who have declared a genuine attachment to the just cause and unity in struggle, supporting the Joint List as the democratic progressive choice against occupation, racism and fascist deterioration led by Netanyahu.
United in Struggle against Fascism and Racism! For Peace, Social Justice and Democracy!
With our fraternal greetings,
International Relations Committee,
Communist Party of Israel.
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