1965 Israeli legislative election

Elections for the sixth Knesset were held in Israel on 2 November 1965.[1][2] Voter turnout was 85.9%.[3]

Elections for the 6th Knesset
← 1961 2 November 1965 1969 →

All 120 seats in the Knesset
61 seats needed for a majority
Turnout85.86% (Increase4.29pp)
Party Leader % Seats +/–
Labor Alignment Levi Eshkol 36.74 45 -5
Gahal Menachem Begin 21.29 26 -8
Mafdal Haim-Moshe Shapira 8.95 11 -1
Rafi David Ben-Gurion 7.90 10 New
Mapam Meir Ya'ari 6.63 8 -1
Independent Liberals Pinchas Rosen 3.75 5 New
Agudat Yisrael Yitzhak-Meir Levin 3.30 4 0
Rakah Meir Vilner 2.27 3 New
PAI Kalman Kahana 1.83 2 0
Progress and Development Seif el-Din el-Zoubi 1.36 2 0
Cooperation and Brotherhood Diyab Obeid 1.36 2 0
HaOlam HaZeh Uri Avnery 1.17 1 New
Maki Shmuel Mikunis 1.13 1 -4
Prime Minister before Prime Minister after
Levi Eshkol
Levi Eshkol

Background Edit

Prior to the elections, two major alliances were formed; Mapai and Ahdut HaAvoda united to form the Alignment, whilst Herut and the Liberal Party had formed the Gahal alliance towards the end of the previous Knesset session. However, both Mapai and the Liberal Party had been hit by breakaway factions, the Ben-Gurion led Rafi and the Independent Liberals (largely composed of former Progressive Party members) respectively.

The communist Maki had also experienced a split earlier in the year, with most of its Arab members and some Jewish members breaking away to establish Rakah.

A new Mapai-affiliated Arab party, Cooperation and Brotherhood was formed to contest the election, whilst the Arab Socialist List was prevented from running by the Central Elections Committee due to its links with the banned al-Ard organisation. Peace activist Abie Nathan entered a party list, Nes.

Parliament factions Edit

The table below lists the parliamentary factions represented in the 6th Knesset.

Name Ideology Symbol Leader 1961 result Seats at 1964
Votes (%) Seats
Mapai Social Democracy
Labor Zionism
א Levi Eshkol 34.7%
42 / 120
34 / 120
Herut Revisionist Zionism ח Menachem Begin 13.8%
17 / 120
17 / 120
Libralit Liberalism ל Peretz Bernstein
Yosef Serlin
17 / 120
10 / 120
Mafdal Religious Zionism ב Haim-Moshe Shapira 9.8%
12 / 120
12 / 120
Mapam Labor Zionism
מ Meir Ya'ari 7.8%
9 / 120
9 / 120
Ahdut HaAvoda Labor Zionism תו Yisrael Galili 6.6%
8 / 120
8 / 120
Rafi Social democracy כא David Ben-Gurion -
0 / 120
8 / 120
Independent Liberals Liberalism לע Pinchas Rosen -
0 / 120
7 / 120
Maki Communism ק Shmuel Mikunis 4.2%
5 / 120
5 / 120
Agudat Yisrael Religious conservatism ג Yitzhak-Meir Levin 3.7%
4 / 120
4 / 120
Poalei Agudat Yisrael Religious conservatism ד Kalman Kahana 1.9%
2 / 120
2 / 120
Cooperation and Brotherhood Arab satellite list יא Diyab Obeid 1.9%
2 / 120
2 / 120
Progress and Development Arab satellite list רא Ahmed A-Dahar 1.6%
2 / 120
2 / 120

Results Edit

Labour Alignment443,37936.7445−5
National Religious Party107,9668.9511−1
Independent Liberals45,2993.755New
Agudat Yisrael39,7953.3040
Progress and Development23,4301.9420
Poalei Agudat Yisrael22,0661.8320
Cooperation and Brotherhood16,4641.3620
HaOlam HaZeh – Koah Hadash14,1241.171New
Movement for Brotherhood11,2440.930New
Peace List5,5360.460New
Young Israel1,9900.160New
Valid votes1,206,72896.95
Invalid/blank votes37,9783.05
Total votes1,244,706100.00
Registered voters/turnout1,449,70985.86
Source: IDI, Nohlen et al.

Aftermath Edit

The sixth Knesset started with Levi Eshkol's Alignment forming the thirteenth government on 12 January 1966. His coalition included the National Religious Party, Mapam, the Independent Liberals, Poalei Agudat Yisrael, Progress and Development and Cooperation and Brotherhood, and had eighteen ministers. Kadish Luz of the Alignment retained his position as Knesset Speaker. At the end of August, 1966 the new Knesset at Givat Ram in Jerusalem was opened. When the Six-Day War broke out on 5 June 1967, Gahal and Rafi joined the coalition to form a national unity government with 21 ministers. The government was ended by Eshkol's death on 26 February 1969.

Golda Meir of the Alignment formed the fourteenth government, also a national unity government, on 17 March 1969. The coalition partners were Gahal, the National Religious Party, the Independent Liberals, Progress and Development and Cooperation and Brotherhood.

In 1968 Rafi, Mapai and Ahdut HaAvoda merged into the Labor Party in 1968, although David Ben-Gurion (Rafi) became an independent. In 1969 the Labor Party formed an alliance with Mapam also named the Alignment. The new Alignment held 63 seats, the only time a single faction has ever held a majority in the Knesset. Other affiliation changes during the Knesset term included Yizhar Harari leaving the Independent Liberals to join the Alignment, four MKs breaking away from Gahal to establish the Free Centre and Progress and Development and Cooperation and Brotherhood merging to form Cooperation and Development (which then broke up into the two original parties, the Druze Party and Jewish-Arab Brotherhood, each with a single seat).

References Edit

  1. ^ Haim Hillel Ben-Sasson, ed. A History of the Jewish People (Harvard University Press, 1976) p1092
  2. ^ "Labor Leads Israeli Election", Montreal Gazette, 3 November 1965, p1
  3. ^ Dieter Nohlen, Florian Grotz & Christof Hartmann (2001) Elections in Asia: A data handbook, Volume I, p124 ISBN 0-19-924958-X

External links Edit