List of political parties in Israel

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politics and government of

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

Due to the low election threshold of 3.25% (and only 1% from 1949 until 1988), a typical Knesset includes a large number of factions represented. In the 2015 elections, for instance, 10 parties or alliances cleared the threshold, and five of them won at least 10 seats. The low threshold, in combination with the nationwide party-list system, make 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 2015 have been coalitions comprising two or more parties.

Current parties

Parties with Knesset seats

The following parties are represented following the 2015 elections:

Party Leader Seats Ideology
Likud Binyamin Netanyahu 30 Economic liberalism
National liberalism[1][2][3][4][5][6]
Liberal conservatism[7]
Revisionist Zionism (historical)[8][9]
Zionist Union (Labor Party) Isaac Herzog 19 Social democracy
Labor Zionism
Two-state solution[5][6][10]
Zionist Union (Hatnuah) Tzipi Livni 5 Two-state solution
Social liberalism
Pro-peace politics[13][14]
Green politics[17][18]
Liberal Zionism[19][20]
Joint List (Hadash) Ayman Odeh 4 Marxism
Two-state solution
Israeli Arab interests
Joint List (Balad) Jamal Zahalka 3 Arab nationalism[23]
Joint List (Ta'al) Ahmad Tibi 3 Arab nationalism
Israeli Arab interests,
Joint List (United Arab List) Masud Ghnaim 3 Israeli Arab interests,
Yesh Atid Yair Lapid 11 Liberalism[30]
Social liberalism[32][33]
Liberal Zionism[34]
Two-state solution
Kulanu Moshe Kahlon 10 Liberal Zionism
Economic egalitarianism[35][36]
Consumer protection[37][38]
Social liberalism[39]
The Jewish Home (Core Party) Naftali Bennett 6 Religious Zionism
Modern Orthodox interests[5][6][40]
Economic liberalism
The Jewish Home (Tkuma) Uri Ariel 2 Religious Zionism
Greater Israel
Shas Aryeh Deri 7 Religious conservatism
Mixed economy
Mizrahi Ultra-orthodox interests [5][6]
United Torah Judaism Yaakov Litzman 6 Torah,
Torah Judaism,
Haredi Judaism,
Ashkenazi Haredim interests,[5][6]
Orthodox Halacha,
Religious conservatism
Yisrael Beiteinu Avigdor Lieberman 6 Revisionist Zionism[5][6][42]
Economic liberalism[43][44][45]
Lieberman Plan
Russian speakers' interests[46]
Meretz Zehava Gal-On 5 Social democracy
Labor Zionism
Green politics[47]
Two-state solution[5]

Other parties

The following parties do not have Knesset seats at present:

Former parties

Parties with Knesset seats

Party First Knesset Last Knesset Notes
Agriculture and Development2nd4thArab satellite list
Ahi16th17thBreakaway from the National Religious Party, joined the National Union alliance (2006–2008), merged into Likud
Ahdut HaAvoda2nd5thMerged into the Labor Party
Ahva9th9thBreakaway from the Democratic Movement
Alignment6th12thBecame the Labor Party
Aliya14th14thBreakaway from Yisrael BaAliyah
Arab Democratic Party11th13thBreakaway from the Alignment, merged into the United Arab List
Arab List for Bedouin and Villagers8th8thArab satellite list; merged into the United Arab List (1977)
Atid13th13thBreakaway from Yiud
Black Panthers12th12thBreakaway from Hadash
Centre Party14th15thBreakaway from Likud, Tzomet and Labor Party
Cooperation and Brotherhood4th7thArab satellite list
Cooperation and Development6th6thArab satellite list; merger of Cooperation and Brotherhood and Progress and Development, demerged soon after
Dash9th9thDisbanded into the Democratic Movement, Shinui, and Ya'ad
Democratic Choice15th15thBreakaway from Yisrael BaAliyah, merged into Meretz-Yachad
Democratic List for Israeli Arabs2nd3rdArab satellite list
Democratic Movement9th9thEmerged from the breakup of Dash
Development and Peace9th9th
Druze Faction6th6thBreakaway from Cooperation and Brotherhood, merged into Progress and Development
Faction independent of Ahdut HaAvoda2nd2ndBreakaway from Mapam, merged into Mapai
Fighters' List1st1st
Free Centre6th8thBreakaway from Herut in 6th Knesset, breakaway from Likud in 8th Knesset
Gahal5th7thBecame Likud
General Zionists1st4thMerged into the Liberal Party
Gesher13th15thBreakaway from Likud, merged back into Likud
Gesher – Zionist Religious Centre10th10thBreakaway from National Religious Party, merged back into NRP
Geulat Yisrael10th10thBreakaway from Agudat Yisrael
HaOlim16th16thBreakaway from Shinui, merged into Yisrael Beiteinu
Hapoel HaMizrachi2nd2ndMerged into the National Religious Party
Hebrew Communists1st1stBreakaway from Maki, merged into Mapam
Herut1st5thMerged into Gahal
Herut – The National Movement14th15thBreakaway from Likud, joined National Union alliance, ran unsuccessfully in the following two elections and merged back into Likud
HaTzeirim14th14thBreakaway from the Centre Party, merged into Shinui
Independent Liberals5th9thBreakaway from the Liberal Party, merged into the Alignment
Independent Socialist Faction8th8thBreakaway from Ya'ad – Civil Rights Movement
Jewish–Arab Brotherhood6th6thBreakaway from Progress and Development, merged into Cooperation and Brotherhood
Justice for the Elderly17th17thBreakaway from Gil, merged back into Gil
Kach11th11thParty banned
Left Camp of Israel9th9th
Left Faction2nd2ndBreakaway from Mapam
Lev15th15thBreakaway from the Centre Party, merged into Likud
Liberal Party4th5thMerged into Gahal
Maki (original)1st7thMerged into Moked
Mapai1st5thMerged into the Labor Party
Mapam1st12thMerged into Meretz
Mekhora14th14thBreakaway from Tzomet, merged into Moledet
Meri6th7thOriginally named HaOlam HaZeh – Koah Hadash (until 1973)
Mizrachi2nd2ndMerged into the National Religious Party
Moked7th8thMerged into the Left Camp of Israel
Moria12th12thBreakaway from Shas
Movement for the Renewal of Social Zionism10th10thBreakaway from Telem
National Home16th16thBreakaway from the Secular Faction
National List7th9thMerged into Likud
National Religious Party3rd17thDisbanded when The Jewish Home formed
New Liberal Party12th12thBreakaway from Likud
New Way15th15thBreakaway from the Centre Party
Noy16th16thBreakaway from One Nation, merged into Kadima
Ometz9th11thBreakaway from Likud, merged into Telem, broke away again, merged into Likud
One Israel (1980)9th9thBreakaway from Likud
One Israel15th15thJoint list of Labor Party, Meimad and Gesher
One Nation14th16thMerged into the Labor Party
Poalei Agudat Yisrael2nd9th
Progress and Development4th8thArab satellite list; merged into the United Arab List (1977)
Progress and Work2nd3rdArab satellite list
Progressive List for Peace11th12th
Progressive National Alliance15th15thBreakaway from the United Arab List
Progressive Party1st4thMerged into the Liberal Party
Rafi5th6thBreakaway from Mapai, merged into the Labor Party
Ratz8th12thMerged into Meretz
Religious Torah Front3rd4thBroke up into Agudat Yisrael and Poalei Agudat Yisrael
Secular Faction16th16thBreakaway from Shinui
Sephardim and Oriental Communities1st2ndMerged into the General Zionists
Shinui9th16thMajority of representatives split to form Secular Faction
Shlomtzion9th9thMerged into Likud
Tami10th11thBreakaway from the National Religious Party, merged into the Likud
Tehiya9th12thBreakaway from Likud
Telem9th10thBreakaway from Likud
The Right Way17th17thBreakaway from Justice for the Elderly
The Third Way13th14thBreakaway from the Labor Party
Tkuma14th17thBreakaway from the National Religious Party, joined the National Union alliance in 1999, disbanded in 2008.
Tzalash16th16thBreakaway from Shinui
United Arab List (1977)8th9thMerger of the Arab List for Bedouins and Villagers and Progress and Development (not related to contemporary United Arab List)
United Religious Front1st1stBroke up into Agudat Yisrael, Poalei Agudat Yisrael, Mizrachi and Hapoel HaMizrachi
Unity for Peace and Immigration12th12thBreakaway from the Alignment, merged into Likud
Unity Party9th9thBreakaway from Dash and the Left Camp of Israel
Ya'ad9th9thEmerged from the breakup of Dash
Ya'ad – Civil Rights Movement8th8thMerger of Ratz and one other MK, split into Ratz and the Independent Socialist Faction
Yachad11th11thMerged into the Alignment
Yemenite Association1st2ndMerged into the General Zionists but broke away later
Yisrael BaAliyah14th16thMerged into Likud
Yiud13th13thBreakaway from Tzomet

Parties without Knesset seats

Name changes

The following parties changed their names

Zionist youth movements

See also


  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". 2014-04-12. Retrieved 2015-01-26. 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 2015-03-01. 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. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 "Guide to Israel's political parties". BBC News. 21 January 2013. Retrieved 28 June 2015.
  6. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Ishaan Tharoor (14 March 2015). "A guide to the political parties battling for Israel's future". The Washington Post. Retrieved 28 June 2015.
  7. 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.
  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. Elshout, Jan (2011). "It's a Myth That Israelis Support a Two-State Solution". Washington Report on Middle East Affairs (March 2011): 24 f.
  11. Christoph Schult (22 March 2013). "Pensions for Jewish Ghetto Laborers: Israel Angered By German Government". Spiegel Online. Retrieved 28 January 2015.
  12. Katherine Philip (16 January 2014). "Outcry as Israel tries to ban the word 'Nazi'". The Times.(subscription required)
  13. Karin Laub (2013-01-22). "Israel vote presents diplomatic, domestic choices". Associated Press. Retrieved 28 January 2015.
  14. Ben Birnbaum (2013-08-23). "Tzipi Livni and the quest for peace in Israel and Palestine". Newsweek. Retrieved 28 January 2015.
  15. Jim Zanotti (February 28, 2014). "Israel: Background and U.S. Relations" (PDF). Congressional Research Service. Retrieved 28 January 2015.
  16. Judy Maltz (17 December 2014). "Where do Israeli lawmakers stand on matters of religion and state?". Haaretz. Both Meretz and Hatnuah are known for their progressive platforms on matters of religion and state.
  17. "Hatnua presents green platform". Ynetnews. 26 December 2012. Retrieved 28 January 2015.
  18. Justin Scott Finkelstein (August 2013). "Can the Israeli Center Hold?" (PDF). Foreign Policy Research Institute.
  19. Carlo Strenger, Israel today: a society without a center, Haaretz (March 7, 2014)
  20. Dror Zeigerman (2013). A Liberal Upheaval: From the General Zionists to the Liberal Party (pre-book dissertation) (PDF). Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Liberty.
  21. Sharon Weinblum (2015). Security and Defensive Democracy in Israel: A Critical Approach to Political Discourse. Routledge. p. 10. ISBN 978-1-317-58450-6.
  22. Carol Migdalovitz (18 May 2006). "Israel: Background and Relations with the United States]" (PDF). CRS Issue Brief for Congress. Congressional Research Service. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  23. Peleg, Ilan; Waxman, Dov (2011). Israel's Palestinians: The Conflict Within. Cambridge University Press. p. 62. ISBN 978-0521157025.
  24. Jamal, Amal (2011). Arab Minority Nationalism in Israel. Routledge. p. 143. ISBN 978-0415567398.
  25. Kimmerling, Baruch; Migdal, Joel S. (2003). The Palestinian People: A History. Harvard University Press. p. 203. ISBN 978-0674011298.
  26. Guide to Israel's political parties, BBC, 21 January 2013
  27. Carol Migdalovitz (18 May 2015). "Israel: Background and Relations with the United States" (PDF). CRS Issue Brief for Congress. Congressional Research Service. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  28. Rubin, Barry (2012). Israel: An Introduction. Yale University Press. p. 219. ISBN 978-0300162301.
  29. Freedman, Robert O., ed. (2008). Contemporary Israel: Domestic Politics, Foreign Policy, and Security Challenges. Westview Press. p. 14. ISBN 978-0813343853.
  30. Birkenstock, Günther (24 January 2013). "Yair Lapid, the big winner in Israel's elections". Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 26 January 2013.
  31. Jodi Rudoren (29 January 2013). "Israeli Secularists Appear to Find Their Voice". The New York Times. p. A4. Retrieved 19 September 2013.
  32. Evans, Judith (23 January 2013). "Israeli election: Live Report". Yahoo! News Singapore. AFP. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
  33. Editorial (2013-03-17). "A capitalist government". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 2015-02-02.
  34. Carlo Strenger (7 March 2014). "Israel today: a society without a center". Haaretz. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
  35. "Two Israeli parties join forces against Netanyahu". Associated Press. 10 December 2014. Retrieved 27 January 2015.
  36. Israel election: Who are the key candidates?, BBC (14 March 2015)
  37. Bernard Avishai, Kerry's Miscalculation on the U.N. Palestine Resolutions, The New Yorker, 31 December 2014
  38. Jacob Wirtschafter, Israel’s election: It’s the economy, stupid, Jewish Journal, 16 March 2015
  39. Laura Riestra (2015-03-17). "Las claves de las elecciones en Israel". ABC Internacional.
  40. "Key parties in incoming Israeli parliament". Associated Press. 24 January 2013. Retrieved 28 June 2015.
  41. 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.
  42. "Bringing the Zionist Dream to Life". Retrieved 5 July 2015.
  43. "Yisrael Beiteinu supports the advancement of free-market economic policies". Jewish Virtual Library. Retrieved 25 April 2010.
  44. Khanin, Vladimir (Ze'ev) (2008). "Israel's "Russian" Parties". In Robert O. Freedman. Contemporary Israel: Domestic Politics, Foreign Policy and Security Challenges. Westview Press. p. 165. ISBN 978-0813343853.
  45. 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.
  46. Jim Zanotti (1 June 2015). "Israel: Background and U.S. Relations" (PDF). Congressional Research Service. p. 58. Retrieved 25 April 2010.
  47. Melanie J. Wright (2013). Studying Judaism: The Critical Issues. A&C Black. p. 49. ISBN 978-1-4725-3888-8. Retrieved 16 June 2015.
  48. Miriam Krule (21 January 2015). "Ultra-Orthodox Women in Israel Launch Their Own Political Party". Slate. Retrieved 28 June 2015.
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