1984 Israeli legislative election

Legislative elections were held in Israel on 23 July 1984 to elect the eleventh Knesset. Voter turnout was 78.8%.[1] The results saw the Alignment return to being the largest party in the Knesset, a status it had lost in 1977. However, the party could not form a government with any of the smaller parties, resulting in a national unity government with Likud, with both party leaders, Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Shamir, holding the post of Prime Minister for two years each.

Elections for the 11th Knesset
← 1981 23 July 1984 1988 →

All 120 seats in the Knesset
61 seats needed for a majority
Turnout78.8% (Increase 0.3 pp)
Party Leader % Seats +/–
Alignment Shimon Peres 34.9% 44 -3
Likud Yitzhak Shamir 31.9% 41 -7
Tehiya-Tzomet Yuval Ne'eman 4.0% 5 +2
Mafdal Yosef Burg 3.5% 4 -2
Hadash Meir Vilner 3.4% 4 0
Shas Yitzhak Peretz 3.1% 4 New
Shinui Amnon Rubinstein 2.7% 3 +1
Ratz Shulamit Aloni 2.4% 3 +2
Yahad Ezer Weizman 2.2% 3 New
PLFP Mohammed Miari 1.8% 2 New
Agudat Yisrael Avraham Yosef Shapira 1.7% 2 -2
Morasha Haim Drukman 1.6% 2 New
Tami Aharon Abuhatzira 1.5% 1 -2
Kach Meir Kahane 1.2% 1 +1
Ometz Yigal Hurvitz 1.2% 1 New
This lists parties that won seats. See the complete results below.
Prime Minister before Prime Minister after
Yitzhak Shamir
Shimon Peres


The ongoing South Lebanon conflictEdit

Bus 300 affairEdit

Parliamentary factionsEdit

The table below lists the parliamentary factions represented in the 10th Knesset.

Name Ideology Symbol Leader 1981 result Seats at 1983
Votes (%) Seats
Likud National liberalism מחל Yitzhak Shamir 37.1%
48 / 120
46 / 120
Alignment Social democracy
Labor Zionism
אמת Shimon Peres 36.6%
47 / 120
49 / 120
Mafdal Religious Zionism ב Yosef Burg 4.9%
6 / 120
6 / 120
Agudat Yisrael Religious conservatism ג Avraham Yosef Shapira 3.7%
4 / 120
4 / 120
Hadash Communism
ו Meir Vilner 3.4%
4 / 120
4 / 120
Tehiya Ultranationalism
Revisionist Zionism
ת Yuval Ne'eman
Geula Cohen
3 / 120
3 / 120
Tami Religious Zionism
Economic egalitarianism
ני Aharon Abuhatzira 2.3%
2 / 120
2 / 120
Telem Centrism כן Moshe Dayan 1.6%
2 / 120
2 / 120
Shinui Liberalism
הן Amnon Rubinstein 1.5%
2 / 120
2 / 120
Ratz Social democracy
רצ Shulamit Aloni 1.4%
1 / 120
1 / 120


National Religious Party73,5303.554−2
Progressive List for Peace38,0121.832New
Agudat Yisrael36,0791.742−2
Aryeh Eliav15,3480.740New
Handicapped Organisation12,3290.590New
Movement for the Renewal of Social Zionism5,8760.280New
Aliyah and Youth Movement5,7940.280New
National Organisation for the Defence of the Tenant3,1950.150New
Development and Peace2,4300.1200
Has Mas1,4720.070New
Movement for the Homeland1,4150.070New
Valid votes2,073,32199.14
Invalid/blank votes18,0810.86
Total votes2,091,402100.00
Registered voters/turnout2,654,61378.78
Source: IDI, Nohlen et al.

The Eleventh KnessetEdit

Due to the stalemate produced by the elections, it was decided to form a national unity government, with the Alignment and Likud holding the leadership for two years each. The Alignment's Shimon Peres formed the twenty-first government on 13 September 1984. Alongside the Alignment and Likud, the coalition government included the National Religious Party, Agudat Yisrael, Shas, Morasha, Shinui and Ometz. Outside national unity governments formed during wartime (notably the government formed during the Six-Day War in the term of the sixth Knesset, which had 111 MKs), it was the largest-ever coalition in Israeli political history, with 97 MKs.

In accordance with the rotation agreement, Peres resigned in 1986 and Likud's Yitzhak Shamir formed the twenty-second government on 20 October 1986. Shinui left the coalition on 26 May 1987.

The eleventh Knesset also contained two controversial parties, Kach and the Progressive List for Peace (PLFP). Kach was a far-right party that advocated the expulsion of most Israeli Arabs, and although it had run in previous elections, it had not passed the electoral threshold. Ultimately the party was banned after a law was passed barring parties that incited racism. The attempts made to stop Kach from competing in the next elections also affected the PLFP, as the addition of section 7a to the Basic Law dealing with the Knesset ("Prevention of Participation of Candidates List") included the banning of parties that denied Israel's existence as a Jewish state:

A candidates' list shall not participate in elections to the Knesset if its objects or actions, expressly or by implication, include one of the following... negation of the existence of the State of Israel as the state of the Jewish people.

On this basis, the Central Elections Committee initially banned the PLFP from running for the 1988 elections, arguing that its policies promoted the scrapping of Israel as a Jewish state. However, the decision was eventually overturned by the Supreme Court of Israel, and the party was able to compete in the elections, winning one seat. Nevertheless, the law was not overturned, the Supreme Court merely deciding it was impossible to determine if "the real, central and active purpose [of the PFLP] is to bring about the elimination of the State of Israel as the state of the Jewish people",[2] and attempts were made to ban the Israeli Arab parties Balad and Ta'al using the same law prior to the 2003 elections.

During the Knesset term eight MKs left the Alignment; five to establish Mapam (one of which, Muhammed Wattad, later defected from Mapam to Hadash), Abdulwahab Darawshe to establish the Arab Democratic Party, Yossi Sarid defected to Ratz and Yitzhak Artzi to Shinui. The Alignment also gained three MKs when Yahad merged into it.

Ometz and Tami merged into Likud. Mordechai Virshubski defected from Shinui to Ratz. Rafael Eitan broke away from Tehiya to establish Tzomet. Haim Drukman defected from Morasha to the National Religious Party. Shimon Ben-Shlomo broke away from Shas to sit as an independent.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Dieter Nohlen, Florian Grotz & Christof Hartmann (2001) Elections in Asia: A data handbook, Volume I, p127 ISBN 0-19-924958-X
  2. ^ Entry barriers to the Knesset race[permanent dead link] Haaretz

External linksEdit