File:Hadash, protest againts lebanon war.jpg

Uri Avnery at a Hadash rally against the 2006 Lebanon War.

Hadash (Hebrew: חד"ש, lit. New, an acronym for HaHazit HaDemokratit LeShalom VeLeShivion (Hebrew: החזית הדמוקרטית לשלום ולשוויון, lit. The Democratic Front for Peace and Equality); Arabic: الجبهة الديمقراطية للسلام والمساواة, al-Jabhah ad-Dimuqrāṭiyyah lis-Salām wa'l-Musāwah) is a Jewish and Arab socialist front of organizations that runs for the Israeli parliament. It currently has four members in the 120-seat Knesset.


The party was formed on 15 March 1977 when the Rakah and Non-Partisans parliamentary group changed its name to Hadash in preparation for the 1977 elections. The non-partisans included some members of the Black Panthers (several others joined the Left Camp of Israel) and other left-wing non-communist groups. Within the Hadash movement, Rakah (which was renamed Maki, a Hebrew acronym for Israeli Communist Party, in 1989) has retained its independent status.

In its first electoral test, Hadash won five seats, an increase of one on Rakah's previous four. However, in the next elections in 1981 the party was reduced to four seats. It maintained its four seats in the 1984 elections, gaining another MK when Mohammed Wattad defected from Mapam in 1988. The 1988 election resulted in another four-seat haul, though the party lost a seat when Charlie Biton broke away to establish Black Panthers as an independent faction on 25 December 1990. The 1992 elections saw the party remain at three seats.

In the 1996 elections the party ran a joint list with Balad. Together they won five seats, but split during the Knesset term,[3] with Hadash reduced to three seats. The 1999 elections saw them maintain three seats, with Barakeh and Issam Makhoul replacing Ahmad Sa'd and Saleh Saleem.

In the 2003 elections Hadash ran on another joint list, this time with Ahmed Tibi's Ta'al. The list won three seats,[4] but again split during the parliamentary session, leaving Hadash with two MKs, Barakeh and Makhoul

In the 2006 elections Hadash won three seats, with Hana Sweid and Dov Khenin entering the Knesset alongside Barakeh. The party won an additional seat in the 2009 elections, taken by Afu Agbaria.

Policies and ideology

The party supports evacuation of all Israeli settlements, a complete withdrawal by Israel from all territories occupied as a result of the Six-Day War, and the establishment of a Palestinian state in those territories. It also supports the right of return or compensation for Palestinian refugees.[5] In addition to issues of peace and security, Hadash is also known for being active on social and environmental issues.[6]

Hadash defines itself as a non-Zionist party, originally in keeping with Marxist opposition to nationalism. It calls for recognition of Palestinian Arabs as a national minority within Israel.[7]

Hadash shifted to a more Arab nationalist appeal after running on a joint list with Ta'al in 2003.[8] Avirama Golan of the leftist Haaretz wrote in 2007 that Hadash has "succumbed to the separatist-nationalist and populist stream ... and chosen to turn its back on a social and civil agenda in favor of questions related to Palestinian nationalism..."[9]

Election platform

The party's platform for the 2009 elections consisted of:.[10]

  1. Achieving a just, comprehensive, and stable peace: Israeli/Palestinian and Israeli/Arab
  2. Protecting workers' rights and issues
  3. Developing social services: health, education, housing, welfare, culture, and sports
  4. Equality for the Arab population in Israel
  5. Eradicating ethnic discrimination in all fields; defending the concerns of residents of disadvantaged neighborhoods and development towns
  6. Protecting democratic freedoms
  7. Equality between the sexes in all fields
  8. Protecting the environment; environmental justice
  9. Eradicating weapons of mass destruction


On 1 November 2009, party leader Mohammad Barakeh was indicted on four counts for events that occurred between April 2005 and July 2007; assault and interfering with a policeman in the line of duty, assault on a photographer, insulting a public servant, and for attacking an official who was discharging his legal duty.[11][12]


Current Knesset Members

  1. Mohammad Barakeh (since 1999)
  2. Hana Sweid (since 2006)
  3. Dov Khenin (since 2006)
  4. Afu Agbaria (since 2009)

Former Knesset Members


  1. Israel: Background and Relations with the United States CRS Issue Brief for Congress, 18 May 2006
  2. Israel gets first Muslim minister Al Jazeera, 28 January 2007
  3. Hadash-Balad Knesset website
  4. Hadash-Ta'al Knesset website
  5. Political Parties & Platforms Israel Votes 2006 - Israeli Democracy in Action (Retrieved 28 July 2006)
  6. Hadash Zionism and Israel (Retrieved 28 July 2006)
  7. Hadash Election Manifesto 2006 Hadash (Retrieved 16 March 2007) (in Hebrew)
  8. Whither Arab Israeli parties? By Danny Rabinowitz, Haaretz
  9. Aviram Golan. "They've given up on Israelis", Haaretz, 11/12/2007. 
  10. Hadash program for Israel Hadash (Retrieved 8 February 2009) (in Hebrew)
  11. Gil Ronen. Criminal Charges Against Arab MK Barakeh. The Jerusalem Post. URL accessed on 1 November 2009.
  12. DAN IZENBERG. Hadash MK indicted for assault while demonstrating against state. Israel National News. URL accessed on 1 November 2009.

External links

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