Photo Credit: Tomer Neuberg/Flash90
Head of the Balad party MK Sami Abu Shehadeh arrives with his family to cast his vote a voting station, on November 1, 2022.

Despite promises by Palestinian Authority officials not to interfere in Israel’s Nov. 1 Knesset election, columnists of the P.A.’s official newspaper, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, are urging Arab citizens to vote for certain parties.

“[T]he personal and national need requires flocking to the polling stations and voting for Hadash-Ta’al and Balad,” wrote Al-Hayat Al-Jadida columnist Omar Hilmi al-Ghoul on Oct. 31.


Among the reasons al-Ghoul wants to encourage Arab Israeli turnout is to foster civil unrest in Israel, said Maurice Hirsch, director of legal strategies for Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), according to a statement on the Israeli NGO’s website.

“[D]eepening the crisis in the Zionist colonialist society, pushing it into a cycle of endless elections that will cause an internal Zionist explosion” is one of the key goals, writes al-Ghoul. The crisis will open a “crater of conflicts” whose ramifications will include “the outbreak of a complicated civil war.”

Notably absent from the list of al-Ghoul’s suggested parties is the Islamist-oriented Ra’am Party, noted Hirsch. This was not an oversight as the P.A. opposes the idea of any Arab Israeli party joining with an Israeli government. Last year, Ra’am became the first independent Arab party to do so.

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