List of political parties in Israel

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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 parties[edit]

Parties represented in the Knesset[edit]

The following parties are represented following the March 2021 election:

Parliamentary factions[edit]

The table below lists the parliamentary factions represented in the 24th Knesset.

Name Ideology Symbol Primary demographic Leader 2021 result As of April
2021
Votes (%) Seats
Likud National liberalism מחל Benjamin Netanyahu 24.19%
30 / 120
30 / 120
Yesh Atid Liberalism פה Yair Lapid 13.93%
17 / 120
17 / 120
Shas Religious conservatism שס Sephardi and Mizrahi Haredim Aryeh Deri 7.17%
9 / 120
9 / 120
Blue and White Social liberalism כן Benny Gantz 6.63%
8 / 120
8 / 120
Yamina National conservatism ב Naftali Bennett 6.21%
7 / 120
7 / 120
Labor Social democracy אמת Merav Michaeli 6.09%
7 / 120
7 / 120
United Torah Judaism Religious conservatism ג Ashkenazi Haredim Moshe Gafni 5.63%
7 / 120
7 / 120
Yisrael Beiteinu Nationalism
Secularism
ל Russian-speakers Avigdor Lieberman 5.63%
7 / 120
7 / 120
Religious Zionist Religious Zionism
Religious conservatism
ט Israeli settlers,
Orthodox and Hardal Jews
Bezalel Smotrich 5.12%
6 / 120
6 / 120
Joint List Big tent
Minority interests
ודעם Israeli Arabs Ayman Odeh 4.82%
6 / 120
6 / 120
New Hope National liberalism ת Gideon Sa'ar 4.74%
6 / 120
6 / 120
Meretz Social democracy מרצ Nitzan Horowitz 4.59%
6 / 120
6 / 120
Ra'am Islamism עם Israeli Arab Sunni Muslims,[1]
Negev Bedouin[2][3]
Mansour Abbas 3.79%
4 / 120
4 / 120

Other parties[edit]

The following parties do not have Knesset seats at present:

Former parties[edit]

Parties formerly represented in the Knesset[edit]

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 WIZO incorporated the Union of Hebrew Women for Equal Rights in Eretz Israel (he), also known as the Women's Union, which had won seats in the Old Yishuv elections.
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 Knesset[edit]

Name Letter Political position Notes
Hatzohar ג Right-wing Original Revisionist Zionist party, disbanded after failing to cross the electoral threshold in the 1949 elections.
Popular Arab Bloc ת Left-wing Arab satellite list that ran in the 1949 elections. Affiliated with Mapam
Tafnit פ Centre Ran in the 2006 elections.
Women's Party נס Centre-left to Left-wing Ran in the 1977 elections.
Yamin Yisrael יד Right-wing Broke away from Moledet, another right-wing party, prior to the 1996 elections, but failed to cross the electoral threshold.
The Arab List - The Center צח Centre Arab satellite list that ran in the 1955 elections. Affiliated with General Zionists

Name changes[edit]

The following parties changed their names

Zionist youth movements[edit]

Name Meaning Movement Association Notes
Betar League of Joseph Trumpeldor Revisionist Likud Historically associated with Herut, and now Likud.
Bnei Akiva Sons of Akiva Religious The Jewish Home Historically associated with Mafdal, and now The Jewish Home.
Habonim Dror The Builders of Freedom Labor Labor Party Associated with the Labor Zionist movement, and now unofficially with the Israeli Labor Party.
Hashomer Hatzair The Young Guard Labor Meretz Associated with the left faction of Labor Zionist, historically associated with Mapam and now unofficially with Meretz.
Magshimey Herut Achievers of Liberty Revisionist None Associated with Revisionist Zionist movement. Associated with the political right.
HaNoar HaOved VeHaLomed The Working and Learning Youth Labor Labor Party Associated with the Labor Zionist movement, Histadrut and now unofficially with the Israeli Labor Party.
Meretz Youth Meretz Youth Labor Meretz Youth-wing of Meretz (under 18).
Noar Avoda Labor Youth Labor Labor Party Young-wing of the Israeli Labor Party (under 18).
Noar HaIhud HaLeumi National Union Youth Religious Religious Zionist Youth-wing of the Religious Zionist Party.
Noar HaGvaot Hilltop Youth Religious Otzma Yehudit Historically associated with Kach and its various successor parties.
Noar Yesh Atid Yesh Atid Youth Liberal Yesh Atid Youth-wing of Yesh Atid (under 18).
HaMahanot HaOlim The Immigrants Camps Labor None Associated with the Labor Zionist movement.
HaNoar HaTzioni The Zionist Youth Liberal None Historically associated with the General Zionists.
Ariel Lion of God Religious Religious Zionist Split from Bnei Akiva, unofficially associated with Religious Zionist Party.
HaNoar HaDati HaOved VeHaLomed The Religious Working and Studying Youth Religious None Founded in 1952, historically associated with Hapoel HaMizrachi.
Noar HaLikud The Likud Youth Revisionist Likud Youth-wing of Likud (under 18).
Young Meretz Young Meretz Labor Meretz Young-wing of Meretz (18-35).

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Israel's Religiously Divided Society" (PDF). Pew Research Center. 8 March 2016. Retrieved 23 February 2017.
  2. ^ "How They Voted: See Israel election results by city/sector". Haaretz. 17 February 2009. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  3. ^ "How Islamist Ra'am broke Arab politics and may win the keys to the government". Times of Israel. 25 March 2021. Retrieved 15 April 2021.
  4. ^ Rappeh, A New Israeli Political Party Against the Lockdowns, jewishpress.com
  5. ^ "Former defense chief Ya'alon launches new political party, Telem | The Times of Israel". www.timesofisrael.com. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  6. ^ Miriam Krule (21 January 2015). "Ultra-Orthodox Women in Israel Launch Their Own Political Party". Slate. Retrieved 28 June 2015.

External links[edit]