List of political parties in Israel

Israel's political system is based on proportional representation and allows for a multi-party system with numerous parties represented in the 120-seat Knesset.

A typical Knesset includes many factions represented. This is because of the low election threshold required for a seat–1 percent of the vote from 1949 to 1992, 1.5 percent from 1992 to 2003, 2 percent from 2003 to 2014, and 3.25 percent since 2015. In the 2015 elections, for instance, ten parties or alliances cleared the threshold, and five of them won at least ten seats. The low threshold, in combination with the nationwide party-list system, makes it all but impossible for a single party to win the 61 seats needed for a majority government. No party has ever won a majority of seats in an election, the most being 56, won by the Alignment grouping in the 1969 elections (the Alignment had briefly held a majority of seats before the elections following its formation in January 1969).

As a result, while only three parties (or their antecedents) have ever led governments, all Israeli governments as of 2020 have been coalitions comprising two or more parties.

Current partiesEdit

Parties represented in the KnessetEdit

The following parties are represented following the March 2020 election:

Party Leader Seats Ideology
Likud Benjamin Netanyahu 36 Conservatism
National conservatism
National liberalism[1][2][3][4]
Economic liberalism
Factions:
Right-wing populism[5][6][7]
Revisionist Zionism[8][9]
Liberal conservatism[10]
Yesh Atid-Telem Yair Lapid, Moshe Ya'alon 16 Liberalism[11]
Social liberalism[12][13]
Liberal Zionism[14]
Two-state solution
Liberal conservatism
Blue and White (Israel Resilience Party) Benny Gantz 15 Zionism[15]
Liberalism
Social liberalism
Environmentalism
Joint List Ayman Odeh 15 Big tent
Shas Aryeh Deri 9 Religious conservatism
Populism[16]
Mixed economy
Mizrahi ultra-Orthodox interests [17][18]
United Torah Judaism Yaakov Litzman 7 "Torah Judaism"
Haredi Judaism
Hasidic Judaism[17][18]
Orthodox Halacha
Religious conservatism
Yisrael Beiteinu Avigdor Lieberman 7 Revisionist Zionism[17][18][19]
Economic liberalism[20][21][22]
Nationalism
Secularism
Lieberman Plan
Russian speakers' interests[23]
Right-wing populism
Yamina Naftali Bennett 6 Religious nationalism
Labor Party Amir Peretz 3 Social democracy
Labor Zionism
Two-state solution[17][18][24]
Meretz Tamar Zandberg 3 Social democracy
Labor Zionism
Secularism[18]
Green politics[25]
Two-state solution[17]
Derekh Eretz Yoaz Hendel, Zvi Hauser 2 Economic liberalism
National liberalism
Gesher Orly Levy 1 Social liberalism

Other partiesEdit

The following parties do not have Knesset seats at present:

Former partiesEdit

Parties formerly represented in the KnessetEdit

Party First Knesset Last Knesset Notes
Agriculture and Development 2nd 4th Arab satellite list
Ahi 16th 17th Breakaway from the National Religious Party, joined the National Union alliance (2006–2008), merged into Likud
Ahdut HaAvoda 2nd 5th Merged into the Labor Party
Ahva 9th 9th Breakaway from the Democratic Movement
Alignment 6th 12th Became the Labor Party
Aliya 14th 14th Breakaway from Yisrael BaAliyah
Arab Democratic Party 11th 13th Breakaway from the Alignment, merged into the United Arab List
Arab List for Bedouin and Villagers 8th 8th Arab satellite list; merged into the United Arab List (1977)
Atid 13th 13th Breakaway from Yiud
Black Panthers 12th 12th Breakaway from Hadash
Centre Party 14th 15th Breakaway from Likud, Tzomet and Labor Party
Cooperation and Brotherhood 4th 7th Arab satellite list
Cooperation and Development 6th 6th Arab satellite list; merger of Cooperation and Brotherhood and Progress and Development, demerged soon after
Dash 9th 9th Disbanded into the Democratic Movement, Shinui, and Ya'ad
Democratic Choice 15th 15th Breakaway from Yisrael BaAliyah, merged into Meretz-Yachad
Democratic List for Israeli Arabs 2nd 3rd Arab satellite list
Democratic Movement 9th 9th Emerged from the break-up of Dash
Development and Peace 9th 9th
Druze Faction 6th 6th Breakaway from Cooperation and Brotherhood, merged into Progress and Development
Faction independent of Ahdut HaAvoda 2nd 2nd Breakaway from Mapam, merged into Mapai
Fighters' List 1st 1st
Free Centre 6th 8th Breakaway from Herut in 6th Knesset, breakaway from Likud in 8th Knesset
Gahal 5th 7th Became Likud
General Zionists 1st 4th Merged into the Liberal Party
Gesher 13th 15th Breakaway from Likud, merged back into Likud
Gesher – Zionist Religious Centre 10th 10th Breakaway from National Religious Party, merged back into NRP
Geulat Yisrael 10th 10th Breakaway from Agudat Yisrael
HaOlim 16th 16th Breakaway from Shinui, merged into Yisrael Beiteinu
Hapoel HaMizrachi 2nd 2nd Merged into the National Religious Party
Hebrew Communists 1st 1st Breakaway from Maki, merged into Mapam
Herut 1st 5th Merged into Gahal
Herut – The National Movement 14th 15th Breakaway from Likud, joined National Union alliance, ran unsuccessfully in the following two elections and merged back into Likud
HaTzeirim 14th 14th Breakaway from the Centre Party, merged into Shinui
Independent Liberals 5th 9th Breakaway from the Liberal Party, merged into the Alignment
Independent Socialist Faction 8th 8th Breakaway from Ya'ad – Civil Rights Movement
Jewish–Arab Brotherhood 6th 6th Breakaway from Progress and Development, merged into Cooperation and Brotherhood
Justice for the Elderly 17th 17th Breakaway from Gil, merged back into Gil
Kach 11th 11th Party banned
Left Camp of Israel 9th 9th
Left Faction 2nd 2nd Breakaway from Mapam
Lev 15th 15th Breakaway from the Centre Party, merged into Likud
Liberal Party 4th 5th Merged into Gahal
Maki (original) 1st 7th Merged into Moked
Mapai 1st 5th Merged into the Labor Party
Mapam 1st 12th Merged into Meretz
Mekhora 14th 14th Breakaway from Tzomet, merged into Moledet
Meri 6th 7th Originally named HaOlam HaZeh – Koah Hadash (until 1973)
Mizrachi 2nd 2nd Merged into the National Religious Party
Moked 7th 8th Merged into the Left Camp of Israel
Morasha 11th 11th
Moria 12th 12th Breakaway from Shas
Movement for the Renewal of Social Zionism 10th 10th Breakaway from Telem
National Home 16th 16th Breakaway from the Secular Faction
National List 7th 9th Merged into Likud
National Religious Party 3rd 17th Disbanded when The Jewish Home formed
New Liberal Party 12th 12th Breakaway from Likud
New Way 15th 15th Breakaway from the Centre Party
Noy 16th 16th Breakaway from One Nation, merged into Kadima
Ometz 9th 11th Breakaway from Likud, merged into Telem, broke away again, merged into Likud
One Israel (1980) 9th 9th Breakaway from Likud
One Israel 15th 15th Joint list of Labor Party, Meimad and Gesher
One Nation 14th 16th Merged into the Labor Party
Poalei Agudat Yisrael 2nd 9th
Progress and Development 4th 8th Arab satellite list; merged into the United Arab List (1977)
Progress and Work 2nd 3rd Arab satellite list
Progressive List for Peace 11th 12th
Progressive National Alliance 15th 15th Breakaway from the United Arab List
Progressive Party 1st 4th Merged into the Liberal Party
Rafi 5th 6th Breakaway from Mapai, merged into the Labor Party
Ratz 8th 12th Merged into Meretz
Religious Torah Front 3rd 4th Broke up into Agudat Yisrael and Poalei Agudat Yisrael
Secular Faction 16th 16th Breakaway from Shinui
Sephardim and Oriental Communities 1st 2nd Merged into the General Zionists
Shinui 9th 16th Majority of representatives split to form Secular Faction
Shlomtzion 9th 9th Merged into Likud
Tami 10th 11th Breakaway from the National Religious Party, merged into the Likud
Tehiya 9th 12th Breakaway from Likud
Telem 9th 10th Breakaway from Likud
The Right Way 17th 17th Breakaway from Justice for the Elderly
The Third Way 13th 14th Breakaway from the Labor Party
Tkuma 14th 17th Breakaway from the National Religious Party, joined the National Union alliance in 1999, disbanded in 2008.
Tzalash 16th 16th Breakaway from Shinui
United Arab List (1977) 8th 9th Merger of the Arab List for Bedouins and Villagers and Progress and Development (not related to contemporary United Arab List)
United Religious Front 1st 1st Broke up into Agudat Yisrael, Poalei Agudat Yisrael, Mizrachi and Hapoel HaMizrachi
Unity for Peace and Immigration 12th 12th Breakaway from the Alignment, merged into Likud
Unity Party 9th 9th Breakaway from Dash and the Left Camp of Israel
WIZO 1st 1st
Ya'ad 9th 9th Emerged from the break-up of Dash
Ya'ad – Civil Rights Movement 8th 8th Merger of Ratz and one other MK, split into Ratz and the Independent Socialist Faction
Yachad 11th 11th Merged into the Alignment
Yemenite Association 1st 2nd Merged into the General Zionists but broke away later
Yisrael BaAliyah 14th 16th Merged into Likud
Yiud 13th 13th Breakaway from Tzomet

Parties that failed to win seats in the KnessetEdit

Name changesEdit

The following parties changed their names

Zionist youth movementsEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Daniel Tauber (13 August 2010). "Ze'ev Jabotinsky (1880–1940)". Likud Anglos. Archived from the original on 22 February 2011. Jabotinsky's movement and teachings, which can be characterized as national-liberalism, form the foundation of the Likud party.
  2. ^ McGann, James G.; Johnson, Erik C. (2005). Comparative Think Tanks, Politics and Public Policy. Edward Elgar Publishing. p. 241. ISBN 9781781958995. The Likud Party, the party of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, is a national-liberal party, while the Labor Party, led by Shimon Peres, is more left-wing and identified as social-democratic.
  3. ^ "Israel - Political Parties". GlobalSecurity.org. 12 April 2014. Retrieved 26 January 2015. The two main political parties—Likud, essentially national-liberal and Labor, essentially social-democratic—have historical roots and traditions pre-dating the establishment of the State in 1948.
  4. ^ "Meet the parties - Likud". Haaretz. 2015. Retrieved 1 March 2015. A national-liberal political movement (center-right, in Israeli terms) that was established as an alliance of parties that united into a single party in 1984.
  5. ^ Langford, Barry (2017). All Together Now. Biteback Publishing. Netanyahu, leader of the right-wing populist party Likud, ran for re-election
  6. ^ Being Israeli: The Dynamics of Multiple Citizenship. Cambridge University Press. 2002. p. 30. The resentment of these two social sectors, coupled with the new elite's incompetence, enabled the right-wing, populist Likud to take over in 1977.
  7. ^ "How Tali and her friendly assassin united Israel". Sydney Morning Herald. 11 September 2004. She was brought up by a hard-working Moroccan Jewish mother in the poor southern town of Kiryat Gat, a heartland of the right-wing populist Likud party.
  8. ^ Joel Greenberg (22 November 1998). "The World: Pursuing Peace; Netanyahu and His Party Turn Away from 'Greater Israel'". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 June 2015. Likud, despite defections, had joined Labor in accepting the inevitability of territorial compromise.... Revolutionary as it may seem, Likud's abandonment of its maximalist vision has in fact been evolving for years.
  9. ^ Ethan Bronner (20 February 2009). "Netanyahu, Once Hawkish, Now Touts Pragmatism". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 June 2015. Likud as a party has made a major transformation in the last 15 years from being rigidly committed to retaining all the land of Israel to looking pragmatically at how to retain for Israel defensible borders in a very uncertain Middle East....
  10. ^ Amnon Rapoport (1990). Experimental Studies of Interactive Decisions. Kluwer Academic. p. 413. ISBN 0792306856. Likud is a liberal-conservative party that gains much of its support from the lower and middle classes, and promotes free enterprise, nationalism, and expansionism.
  11. ^ Birkenstock, Günther (24 January 2013). "Yair Lapid, the big winner in Israel's elections". Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 26 January 2013.
  12. ^ Evans, Judith (23 January 2013). "Israeli election: Live Report". Yahoo! News Singapore. AFP. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
  13. ^ Editorial (17 March 2013). "A capitalist government". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 2 February 2015.
  14. ^ Carlo Strenger (7 March 2014). "Israel today: a society without a center". Haaretz. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
  15. ^ "Ex-Israeli Army Chief Benny Gantz, Considered Top Netanyahu Challenger, Launches Political Party". JNS. 27 December 2018.
  16. ^ Dani Filc (2010). The Political Right in Israel: Different Faces of Jewish Populism. Routledge Studies on the Arab-Israeli Conflict. Routledge. p. 79. ISBN 978-0415488303.
  17. ^ a b c d e "Guide to Israel's political parties". BBC News. 21 January 2013. Retrieved 28 June 2015.
  18. ^ a b c d e Ishaan Tharoor (14 March 2015). "A guide to the political parties battling for Israel's future". The Washington Post. Retrieved 28 June 2015.
  19. ^ "Bringing the Zionist Dream to Life". yisraelbeytenu.com. Archived from the original on 8 November 2006. Retrieved 5 July 2015.
  20. ^ "Yisrael Beiteinu supports the advancement of free-market economic policies". Jewish Virtual Library. Retrieved 25 April 2010.
  21. ^ Khanin, Vladimir (Ze'ev) (2008). "Israel's "Russian" Parties". In Robert O. Freedman (ed.). Contemporary Israel: Domestic Politics, Foreign Policy and Security Challenges. Westview Press. p. 165. ISBN 978-0813343853.
  22. ^ Arieff, Irwin (2011). "Middle East Peace Prospects: Is There Any Hope for Long-Term Peace". Issues in Peace and Conflict Studies: Selections From CQ Researcher. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications. p. 217. doi:10.4135/9781483349244.n8. ISBN 9781412992916.
  23. ^ Jim Zanotti (1 June 2015). "Israel: Background and U.S. Relations" (PDF). Congressional Research Service. p. 58. Retrieved 25 April 2010.
  24. ^ Elshout, Jan (2011). "It's a Myth That Israelis Support a Two-State Solution". Washington Report on Middle East Affairs (March 2011): 24 f.
  25. ^ Melanie J. Wright (2013). Studying Judaism: The Critical Issues. A&C Black. p. 49. ISBN 978-1-4725-3888-8. Retrieved 16 June 2015.
  26. ^ "Former defense chief Ya'alon launches new political party, Telem | The Times of Israel". www.timesofisrael.com. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  27. ^ Miriam Krule (21 January 2015). "Ultra-Orthodox Women in Israel Launch Their Own Political Party". Slate. Retrieved 28 June 2015.

External linksEdit