Arab Democratic Party
Founded in 1988
The Arab Democratic Party (HaMiflaga HaDemokratit Ha'aravit) was established in 1988 by Knesset member Abdel Wahab Darawshe and a number of Arab mayors and council heads. MK Darawshe had been a Labor Party MK, but left the Labor Party as a result of its position on the first Intifada, which had begun in December 1987. In political terms, the party championed Palestinian self-determination and the end of the Israeli occupation of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip. In the internal arena, the party called for civil equality for Israeli Arabs. As part of this platform, it called for an end of the confiscation of Arab-owned land, the improvement of employment opportunities, increased industrialization in the Arab sector, the expansion of the judicial boundaries of Arab settlements, and the establishment of an Arab university.
After the victory of the Labor Party in the 1992 elections for the 13th Knesset, the Arab Democratic Party joined the left obstructive bloc, and demanded formal participation in the coalition. But, following the rejection of its demands, the party agreed to support the government from the outside in return for various improvements in the status of the Arabs in Israel. In the 1996 elections for the 14th Knesset, the Arab Democratic Party ran on a joint list with the United Arab List (Ra'am— Reshima Aravit Me'uhedet) and in 1999 was absorbed into it.