Topics: Election

Survey: Arabs Plan to Vote Different in Third Israeli Election

Did Trump indirectly influence outcome of Israeli election by pushing Arab voters to Jewish parties?

Next Israeli election could be altered by shifting Arab vote.
Miriam Alster/Flash90

The Joint Arab List might be in trouble when in less than three weeks we got to the polls for the third Israeli election in less than a year.

The publication of US President Donald Trump’s “Peace to Prosperity” plan has made many Israeli Arabs uneasy.

The so-called “deal of the century” proposes swapping some Arab towns in Israel for large Jewish settlement blocs in Judea and Samaria.

The residents of the Lower Galilee area known as “the Triangle” in particular could suddenly find themselves “Palestinians” (if there was actually any chance of the plan being implemented).

A survey conducted by the Arabic-language website PANET found that 82 percent of Arabs living in that region would prefer to remain Israeli.

But they aren’t merely voicing their displeasure. The same poll found that 58.8 percent of Arab voters might change their vote in the upcoming Israeli election as a result of this concern over becoming “Palestinian.”

Already for years, a growing number of Arab voters have expressed frustration that the Joint Arab List focuses too much on the Palestinian issue, and not enough on truly representing their communities.

With that frustration now turning to fear over the possibility of losing their Israeli citizenship, the survey suggests many Arab voters might throw their weight behind the center-left Israeli parties that reject the land swaps presented in Trump’s plan.

Many might also be wary of further identifying themselves with the Palestinian cause by voting for the Joint Arab List, which openly identifies with the Palestinian cause. After all, one can’t keep calling himself a “Palestinian” and not expect to be made a citizen of a future Palestinian state.

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