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Israeli Political Parties: The Joint Arab List (Wamab)

Wamab is the joint Arab list, comprised of many smaller Arab political parties who banned together. Israel’s major Arab political parties Balad and Ra’am-Ta’al signed an agreement on January 21, 2015, with the Arab-Jewish Hadash Party and the Islamic Movement to run on a single ticket headed by Hadash leader Ayman Odeh. The decision of the often fractious parties to unite was prompted by the recent change in election law raising the threshold for representation from 2 percent to 3.25 percent, which would make it difficult for the smaller individual parties to win seats. Jointly, they strategized that they had a chance to win more than 10 seats. During the 19th Knesset they collectively held 12 seats, and the Arab list won 13 seats in the 2015 election for the 20th Knesset, making it the third largest party.

The list broke into two factions, Ra’am - Balad and Hadash - Ta’al in the election for the 21st Knesset in April 2019. They reunited to win 13 seats in the September 2019 election for the 22nd Knesset. In the election to the 23rd Knesset in 2020, the list won 15 seats and was again the third largest party.

For the 2021 election, Ra’am decided to run independently of the other three Arab parties, which won six seats.

Sources: Green, David B. “The Arab Joint List is Reshaping Israeli Politics,” Tablet Magazine (March 12, 2015).