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.
After the poor showing of the two Arab slates in the April 2019 election, the four Arab parties decided to reunite as a Joint List, hoping to increase the 13 seats it won in 2015. One key to success will be Arab voter turnout, which dropped from 63 percent to 50 percent. Ayman Odeh will top the list.
Sources: The Israel Project;
Moment, (January 2012);
Allison Kaplan Sommer, “Israel’s Do-over Election: A Guide to All the Parties and Who Holds the Keys to the Next Government,” Haaretz, (July 31, 2019).