- Title: Israeli Arabs cast ballots in parliamentary elections
- Date: 17th September 2019
- Summary: TAYBEH, ISRAEL (SEPTEMBER 17, 2019) (REUTERS) ISRAELI ARAB LAWMAKER AND MEMBER OF THE JOINT LIST AHMAD TIBI OF THE JOINT LIST AT POLLING STATION VARIOUS OF TIBI CASTING BALLOT WHILE SURROUNDED BY FAMILY TIBI TALKING TO PRESS (SOUNDBITE) (English) ISRAELI ARAB LAWMAKER AND MEMBER OF THE JOINT LIST AHMAD TIBI, SAYING: "Every one of us who is taking part in this election will say no to this Trump deal which is an attempt to lead us to a political and national disaster. If you are saying yes to the Joint List, you are saying no to Trump and Netanyahu and you are saying yes to the upgrade of the status of the Arab minority." ARAB VOTER, RASHID TIBI, AT POLLING STATION ELECTION COMMITTEE EMPLOYEES (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) ARAB VOTER, RASHID TIBI, SAYING: "I voted for the Joint List because there is a big challenge against the Arabs in this country, beginning with the Prime Minister to the youngest person in the right party, an unprecedented attack on the Arab minority in Israel" VOTER AT BALLOT STATION ELECTION COMMITTEE EMPLOYEE CHECKING NAME
- Embargoed: 1st October 2019 11:20
- Keywords: Israel election Ayman Odeh Ahmad Tibi votes politics
- Location: HAIFA, TAYBEH, ISRAEL
- City: HAIFA, TAYBEH, ISRAEL
- Country: Israel
- Topics: Government/Politics,Elections/Voting
- Reuters ID: LVA002AX1PLXJ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Ayman Odeh, who leads the Joint List coalition of four mostly Arab parties, said Israel's Arab citizens could help prevent the re-election of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyhau, as he cast his ballot in Israel's parliamentary elections on Tuesday (September 17).
Arabs make up 21 percent of Israel's population.
Despite holding Israeli citizenship, many Arabs say they face discrimination in areas such as health, education and housing. Poverty among Arab citizens is 47 percent, compared with a national average of 18 percent, according to Israel's National Insurance Institute.
The Joint List ran on two separate tickets in April and saw their total representation in the 120-member Knesset fall from 13 to 10. This time, the Joint List has reunited in a bid to increase turnout.
Israeli Arab lawmaker and member in the Joint List Ahmad Tibi said voting for his party is a vote against Netanyahu and U.S. President Donald Trump who plans to release an Israeli-Palestinian peace plan soon that Tibi called a "national disaster".
Odeh in August said he would join a center-left coalition -but only under a series of conditions, including resuming peace talks with the Palestinians and cancelling a law passed last year which declared Israel the "nation-state" of the Jewish people.
But no Arab party has ever served in a governing coalition, meaning they have little say in shaping Israeli policies. With most Israeli parties having ruled out forming a coalition with Arab parties, some Arab lawmakers are advocating a different approach to having their voices heard.
In April, there was some controversy when election monitors from Netanyahu's Likud party turned up with cameras in Arab areas. Locals accused them of voter intimidation with Likud saying they were trying to prevent election fraud.
Opinion polls put the party of the former Israeli army chief of staff Benny Gantz neck-and-neck with Netanyahu's right-wing Likud, and suggest the far-right Yisrael Beitenu party could emerge as kingmaker in coalition talks.
Netanyahu faces a battle for political survival in the closely fought election, that could end his 10-year domination of national politics.
(Production: Ismael Khader, Suheir Sheikh)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2019. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None