Hadash (Hebrew acronym for “The Democratic Front for Peace and Equality”) is a left-wing party that, when formed in March 1977, was rooted in Israel’s Communist party (Maki), the Black Panthers, and other left-wing non-communist groups. Hadash is a Jewish and Arab party, but has a mainly Arab constituency.
Hadash demands the evacuation of Israel from all the disputed territories and supports the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel. The party also emphasizes workers’ rights, social justice, opposition to privatization, democratic liberties, human rights, equality for the Arab minority ethnic groups and women, the protection of the environment and the disarmament of mass destruction weapons.
In the 2013 Knesset elections, Hadash won just over 3% of the popular vote and was awarded four seats in the Knesset.
Israel’s major Arab political parties Balad, Ra’am and Ta’al signed an agreement on January 21, 2015, with Hadash party to run on a single ticket – the Joint Arab List – headed by Hadash leader Ayman Odeh. The decision of the often fractious parties to unite was prompted by a change in the election law raising the threshold for representation from 2 percent to 3.25 percent, which would have made it difficult for the smaller individual parties to win seats. In that election, the list won 13 seats, making it the third largest party in the 20th Knesset.