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Israel's Joint List faces challenging road ahead

Mar. 29, 2015 | Al Jazeera English

Coalition of Arab parties is now the Knesset's third-largest bloc, but success hinges on its ability to form alliances.

Though one week has passed since Israel's legislative elections, Ayman Odeh - the leader of the Joint List, an alliance of four predominantly Arab parties - has not yet had a quiet moment.

Even before the final votes were counted, Odeh was busy visiting his geographical constituency, the first stop being the impoverished, unrecognised Bedouin villages in the southern Negev region. He had vowed during his campaign that he would visit these villages after the election.

"We are the only party that talks about national and social rights for both Arabs and Jews," Odeh told Al Jazeera.

Although the Joint List estimates that the number of Jewish votes was only a few thousand, he nevertheless sees the alliance as representing a new era in Israeli politics - as a force that fights for the interests of all marginalized groups.

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