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A close look at the results of this Israeli parliamentary election in comparison to the 2013 election reveals no significant movement on the balance of power between the left and right blocs in the country.Israel's hawkish Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman initiated the change to exclude the small Arab parties from the Knesset. But fearing that they would each not meet the minimum threshold alone, the Arab parties united into a single Joint List. Many in the 1.7 million strong community regard the Knesset as ineffective and chose in the past to boycott national elections. But the list's campaign efforts led to a rise in Arab turnout rates, from 56 percent in 2013 to around 65 percent in the recent election, with 85 percent of Arab voters casting their ballot for the Joint List. The Joint List accomplished in this recent election what was thought impossible: making an Arab list the third largest in the Knesset and restoring some hope in the democratic process among a disenfranchised population.
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