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Israel Political Parties: Arab Movement for Renewal (Ta'al)

Ta'al (transliterated Hebrew acronym for "Arab Movement for Renewal") is an Israeli political party largely supported by Israeli Arabs.

Formedin the mid-1990's by Dr. Ahmed Tibi, Ta'al hoped to serve as a united party for all Arabs but only became registered as a legitimate political party in 1996 after seven failed attempts. Ta'al's philosophy centers around the desire to see Israel's Arabs recognized as a national minority and for Israel to nullify laws that give Jews preference in national life.

Ta'al eventually dropped out right before the 1996 elections and instead formed a coalition with Hadash, an Israeli Arab party. Tibi eventually left Hadash and joined Balad, another Israeli Arab party, for the 1999 elections, from which he won a seat in the Knesset. In December 1999, Tibi split with Balad and reconstituted himself as his own party.

For the 2003 elections, Ta'al again combined with Hadash and the coalition won enough votes for Tibi to keep his parliamentary seat. In 2006, Tibi left Hadash again and joined with the United Arab List (Ra'am) for the 2006 elections. Again, the coalition won enough seats for Tibi to retain his seat in the government.

In January 2009, the Israeli Central Elections Committee banned Ta’al, Ra’am, and Balad from running in the elections, accusing them of incitement, supporting terrorist groups and refusing to recognize Israel's right to exist. The Supreme Court subsequently revoked the ban allowing the party to stand in the elections. Following their appeal, Ra'am-Ta'al was kept for the 2009 election and it garnered enough votes for four seats, splitting 3 and 1 with Tibi again keeping his seat.

In the January 2013 elections, running on a joint ticket with Ra'am once again, Ta'al was awarded one seat from the five won by the party overall.

Israel's major Arab political parties Balad and Ra'am-Ta'al signed an agreement on January 21, 2015, with the Arab-Jewish Hadash party and the Isamic Movement to run on a single ticket headed by Hadash leader Ayman Odeh.  The decision of the often fracticious parties to unite was prompted by the recent change in election law rising the threshhold for representation from 2 percent to 3.25 percent, which would make it difficult for the smaller individual parties to win seats.  Jointly, they have a chance to win more than 10 seats.  During the 19th Knesset they collectively held 12 seats. 

Sources: "Political Parties and Platforms." Chapter Two. Democracy In Action; "The Israeli Elections and the Middle East Peace Process." by Emad Gad at ACPSS Publications; Moment Magazine (January 2012); Wikipedia