Zahalka and Odeh: “The Joint List Can Establish a Palestinian National Congress in Israel Similar to the ANC”


Mada al-Carmel held a workshop on the future of Arab political coalitions in Israel and the role of the Joint List on Friday May 22nd, 2015, with the participation of MKs Dr. Jamal Zahalka and Mr. Ayman Odeh from the Joint List. The discussion was facilitated by Professor Nadim Rouhana, the founding director of Mada al-Carmel.

Professor Rouhana discussed issues regarding the formation of coalitions between Arab political parties with divergent ideologies. He considered whether the constituent parties in the Joint List would be able to unify under the banner of a common agenda, while also raising questions about how researchers can contribute to the Joint List’s policy development process.


Dr. Jamal Zahalka claimed that the formation of the Joint List was a strategy rather than a tactic. He suggested that the Joint List has a clear political program based on a realistic working agenda. He expressed the desire to widen the Joint List so that more political movements, including extra-parliamentary movements, would be willing to join.

MK Ayman Odeh claimed that the program of the Joint List was electorally oriented and contained clear short-term objectives. He suggested that the success of the Joint List was a goal that all of its constituent parties shared. He proposed that the Joint List should work on issues of importance to Palestinians across the ideological spectrum.

Both Joint List leaders expressed the desire to work through differences in the List with the hope of establishing a Palestinian institution similar to the ANC.

To view a report of this event (available in Arabic), click here.