Leader of the Opposition (Israel)

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Leader of the Opposition
יוֹשֵׁב רֹאשׁ הַאוֹפּוֹזִיצְיָה
Yoshev Rosh Ha-Opozitzya
Term lengthWhile leader of the largest political party not in government
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The Leader of the Opposition (Hebrew: יוֹשֵׁב רֹאשׁ הַאוֹפּוֹזִיצְיָה, Yoshev Rosh Ha-Opozitzya) is the politician who leads the Official Opposition in the Knesset, the Israeli parliament.

History[edit]

Informal role, until 2000[edit]

Until 2000, the role of the Opposition Leader was not an official position, but rather an honorary role. The Leader of the Opposition was the leader of the largest party not in government. This was either Likud or Labor, with short exceptions during national unity governments of 1967–1970 and 1984–1990.

Even with the absence of a law defining the role of the Opposition Leader, it was customary for the Prime Minister to hold regular meetings with the leader of the largest opposition party. However, it was carried out only at the prerogative of the Prime Minister.

Formalised role, post-2000[edit]

In early 2000, two bills to amend the Opposition Leader's status were submitted to the Knesset, one by the government and one by MK Uzi Landau. The bills were merged into one amendment, and on 17 July 2000, the Knesset approved Amendment 8 to the "Knesset Law" of 1994, adding chapter 6 that outlined the role of the Leader of the Opposition. The law stipulates the selection of the Opposition Leader, the method of their replacement, regulates their ceremonial role in various official events, and obliges the prime minister to update them once a month. The law also stipulates that the Opposition Leader's salary will be determined by Knesset committee, and shall not be lower than a salary of a Cabinet minister.

List of Opposition leaders[edit]

Name
(Birth–Death)
Portrait Political Party Term
Meir Ya'ari
מאיר יערי
(1897–1987)
Yaari.jpg Mapam 1949 – 1951
Peretz Bernstein
פרץ ברנשטיין
(1890–1971)
Peretz Bernstein.jpg General Zionists 1951 – 1952
Meir Ya'ari
מאיר יערי
(1897–1987)
Yaari.jpg Mapam 1952 – 1955
Peretz Bernstein
פרץ ברנשטיין
(1890–1971)
Peretz Bernstein.jpg General Zionists 1955
Menachem Begin
מנחם בגין
(1913–1992)
Menachem Begin 2 (cropped).jpg Herut/Gahal 1955 – 1967
Meir Ya'ari
מאיר יערי
(1897–1987)
Yaari.jpg Mapam 1967 – 1969
Yitzhak-Meir Levin
יצחק-מאיר לוין
(1893–1971)
Yitzhak Meir Levin.jpg Agudat Yisrael 1969 – 1970
Menachem Begin
מנחם בגין
(1913–1992)
Menachem Begin 2 (cropped).jpg Likud 1970 – 1977
Shimon Peres
שמעון פרס
(1923–2016)
Shimon Peres by David Shankbone.jpg Alignment 1977 – 1984
Yuval Ne'eman
יובל נאמן
(1925–2006)
Tehiya 1984 – 1988
Shulamit Aloni
שולמית אלוני‎
(1928–2014)
Shulamit Aloni portrait.jpg Ratz 1988 – 1990
Shimon Peres
שמעון פרס
(1923–2016)
Shimon Peres by David Shankbone.jpg Labor 1990 – 1992
Yitzhak Shamir
יצחק שמיר
(1915–2012)
Yitzhak Shamir (1980).jpg Likud 1992 – 1993
Benjamin Netanyahu
בנימין נתניהו
(1949–)
Benjamin Netanyahu.jpg Likud 1993 – 1996
Shimon Peres
שמעון פרס
(1923–2016)
Shimon Peres by David Shankbone.jpg Labor 1996 – 1997
Ehud Barak
אהוד ברק
(1942–)
Ehud Barak Face.jpg Labor 1997 – 1999
Ariel Sharon
אריאל שרון
(1928–2014)
Ariel Sharon 2001.jpg Likud 1999 – 2000

Post–2000[edit]

After Amendment 8 to the "Knesset law" of 1994 was passed, the Leader of the Opposition became the person elected by the largest faction of the opposition.

Name
(Birth–Death)
Portrait Political Party Term
Ariel Sharon
אריאל שרון
(1928–2014)
Ariel Sharon 2001.jpg Likud 30 July 2000 – 7 March 2001
Yossi Sarid
יוסי שריד
(1940–2015)
Yossi Sarid.JPG Meretz 7 March 2001 – 4 November 2002
Binyamin Ben-Eliezer
בנימין בן אליעזר
(1936–2016)
Fuad.jpg Labor 4 November 2002 – 28 February 2003
Amram Mitzna
עמרם מצנע
(1945–)
Amram Mitzna.jpg Labor 28 February 2003 – 13 May 2003
Dalia Itzik
דליה איציק
(1952–)
Faction leader
Dalya itzik.jpg Labor 13 May 2003 – 25 June 2003
Shimon Peres
שמעון פרס
(1923–2016)
Shimon Peres by David Shankbone.jpg Labor 25 June 2003 – 10 January 2005
Yosef Lapid
יוסף לפיד
(1931–2008)
Tommy Lapid at Eichman trial1961.jpg Shinui 10 January 2005 – 23 November 2005
Amir Peretz
עמיר פרץ
(1952–)
Amir Peretz, 2006.jpg Labor 23 November 2005 – 16 January 2006
Benjamin Netanyahu
בנימין נתניהו
(1949–)
Benjamin Netanyahu.jpg Likud 16 January 2006 – 6 April 2009
Tzipi Livni
ציפי לבני
(1958–)
Tzipi Livni (38130112).jpg Kadima 6 April 2009 – 2 April 2012
Shaul Mofaz
שאול מופז
(1948–)
Shaul Mofaz.jpg Kadima 2 April 2012 – 9 May 2012
Shelly Yachimovich
שלי יחימוביץ׳
(1960–)
שלי.jpg Labor 9 May 2012 – 23 July 2012
Shaul Mofaz
שאול מופז
(1948–)
Shaul Mofaz.jpg Kadima 23 July 2012 – 5 February 2013
Shelly Yachimovich
שלי יחימוביץ׳
(1960–)
שלי.jpg Labor 5 February 2013 – 25 November 2013
Isaac Herzog
יצחק הרצוג
(1960–)
Isaac Herzog 2004.JPG Labor
(Zionist Union)
25 November 2013 – 31 July 2018
Tzipi Livni
ציפי לבני
(1958–)
Tzipi Livni (38130112).jpg Hatnuah
(Zionist Union)
1 August 2018 – 1 January 2019
Shelly Yachimovich
שלי יחימוביץ׳
(1960–)
שלי.jpg Labor 1 January 2019 – present

References[edit]

External links[edit]