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Platforms

Political Parties & Platforms

Downloadable Resources:
1. Chart w/detailed platforms of main parties. PDFGet It.
2. List of all parties w/key platform points only. PDFGet It.

For the upcoming election, there are 31 parties running for the Knesset's 120 seats. On this page, you can learn about all the parties and their platform.

Israel's Political Spectrum

  Left Left of Center Centrist Right of Center Right
Major Parties   Labor Kadima Likud  
Small Parties
(Running for
Re-election)
  • Meretz-Yachad
  • Natn'l Demo.
    Assembly-Balad
  • Hadash
  • United Arab List
  •  
  • Shinui
  • Shas
  • Torah & Shabat
    Judaism
  • National Union-
    NRP
  • Yisrael Beitenu
  • New Parties Left Wing Center Right Wing

    (Currently not
    in the Knesset).
  • Brit Olam
  • Da'am
  • Gil
  • Green Leaf
  • Greens
  • Halev- Fight
    the Banks
  • Lechem
  • Leeder
  • Lev
  • Natn'l Arab Party
  • New Zionism
  • One Future
  • Strength to
    the Poor
  • Tafnit
  • Hetz
  • Tzedek
    Lakol
  • Herut
  • Jewish National Front
  • Tzomet

  • Major Political Parties

    Kadima

    Party Leader: Ehud Olmert
    Campaign Slogans: 1) Israel Wants Kadima. 2) Kadima (Forward) Sharon. 3) Moving Forward
    Official Web Site: http://www.kadimasharon.co.il
    Key Points In Platform:

    • Supports a negotiated peace process based entirely on the 'Road Map' Peace Plan, eventually leading to the creation of a Palestinian state. However, will not negotiate with Hamas-led PA unless Hamas accepts Israel's right to exist and ends all violence.
    • No further unilateral withdrawals; although Israel reserves the right to unilaterally draw final borders if the Palestinians do not fulfill their obligations under the Road Map.
    • Favors keeping the 'major settlement blocks' (Ariel, Gush Etzion and Ma'alei Adumim) within the final borders of Israel.
    • Governmental reform to stem the power of Central Committees in Israeli political parties.
    • Continue to pursue a moderate, market-based economy.
    • Plans to introduce legislation to legalize civil marriage and burial.

    What the critics are saying about Kadima:
    Kadima is not a political party, it's a one-man show conceived and created by Ariel Sharon. With Sharon incapacitated, Kadima will not be able to function as a whole because its leading figures have disparate worldviews and Ehud Olmert is not politically strong enough to impose party discipline when sensitive, divisive issues confront the government. Without Sharon to hold the party together, Kadima-even if it wins big-will ultimately disintegrate.

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    Labor

    Party Leader: Amir Peretz
    Campaign Slogans: Fighting Terror, Defeating Poverty
    Official Web Site: www.Avoda.org.il
    Key Points In Platform:

    • Wants to restart negotiations with the Palestinians based upon the "land for peace" formula within the framework of the Oslo Accords. Have stated that they will not negotiate directly with Hamas, although would still consider negotiations with more moderate PA leaders (Mahmud Abbas).
    • In favor of the creation of a Palestinian state
    • Willing to consider unilateral withdrawal from certain parts of the West Bank
    • Supports rolling back some of the economic privatization that has occurred in recent years. Also supports expansion of government social service and welfare systems
    • Favors maintaining the religious status quo

    What the critics are saying about Labor:
    The Labor has suffered major setbacks in recent elections, and this one will be no different. Amir Peretz, although a seasoned politician, is better at gaining headlines about populist issues than he will be running Israel. Peretz-a Moroccan-born labor union head-is not the natural leader of Labor's elite Ashkenazi constituent base. His ascension to Labor's leadership may even put off lifelong Labor voters.

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    Likud

    Party Leader: Binyamin Netanyahu
    Campaign Slogans: Strong against Hamas - Only (the Likud) Netanyahu
    Official Web Site: www.Likud.org.il
    Key Points In Platform:

    • Has stated willingness to negotiate peace with Palestinian leadership "not compromised by terror", but adamantly refuses to negotiate with Hamas and any member of the Hamas-led PA.
    • Not in favor of a Palestinian state, but concedes its likely inevitability.
    • Opposed to dismantling of settlements
    • Continue economic reforms started by Netanyahu as Finance Minister
    • Favors maintaining status quo in religious/state issues

    What the critics are saying about Likud:
    Likud is in deep trouble for several reasons. First, since the best of Likud left the party to join Kadima, the party is largely based on Benjamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu's last term as Prime Minister was hardly a great success. In addition, right-wing voters will choose National Union-NRP because the Likud (under Sharon) implemented Labor's Disengagement plan. From the left and the right, many former Likud voters will seek a new political home.

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    Small Political Parties Running for Re-election

    Meretz-Yachad

    Party Leader: Yossi Beilin
    Campaign Slogans: On the Left, the Individual is at the Center!
    Official Web Site: www.Meretz.org.il
    Key Points In Platform:

    • Left-wing social democratic secular party
    • Supports a just and comprehensive peace between Israel and its neighbors
    • Has historically supported direct negotiations with the Palestinians and continues to do so in theory, however, concedes that direct negotiations with Hamas is ill-advised at this time.
    • Favors dismantling settlements and full withdrawal from West Bank
    • Supports state recognition of non-Orthodox conversions and acceptance of patrilineal descent as source of Jewishness
    • Human, civil rights and social justice agenda
    • Ecology and a safe environment agenda

    What the critics are saying about Meretz:
    Meretz suffered during the last elections because the party and its leadership was perceived as out of touch with Israel's reality. Leader Yossi Beilin was a key architect of the Oslo Accords, and even after the plan's utter failure he's brimming with confidence that peace is possible if only Israel will give in…again. Voters, seeking more pragmatic and realistic leadership will vote Labor or Kadima since both of these parties have adopted the premise of a Palestinian state and have the political power to implement policy.

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    National Democratic Assembly (Balad)

    Party Leader: Azmi Bishara
    Campaign Slogans: TBA
    Official Web Site: www.Balad.org
    Key Points In Platform:

    • Israeli Arab party
    • Israel should be a democratic state of all its citizens
    • Supports right of return for Arab refugees from the 1948 war
    • Full Israeli withdrawal from West Bank and East Jerusalem
    • Supports creation of a Palestinian state

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    National Union-National Religious Party (Mafdal)

    Party Leader: Benyamin Elon
    Campaign Slogans: Leaving the Likud: A New Right Rises. We're All Right! We believe in the State, but we're out to change the government.
    Official Web Site: www.Leumi.org.il, www.Mafdal.org.il
    Key Points In Platform:

    • Coalition of right-wing parties, both religious (NRP) and secular (Moledet & Tekuma) parties
    • Against further withdrawals from the West Bank, based on the on security, Biblical and Zionistic beliefs
    • Against any concessions to the Palestinian Authority and rejects all negotiations with the PA and/or Hamas.
    • Against the creation of a Palestinian state.
    • Voluntary transfer of Arabs living in refugee camps in the West Bank and Gaza to other Arab countries
    • Tough attitude towards security
    • Strengthening of the state education system

    What the critics are saying about the National Union-National Religious Party:
    The merger of these two parties may strengthen their position at the polls, but it will not be capable of stopping a strong center-left coalition willing to implement concessions-unilateral or not. Most citizens find the ideology espoused by the NU-NRP of settlement in the entire Land of Israel-including in close proximity to major Palestinian cities-as untenable in the long run if Israel is to remain a Jewish and democratic state.

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    Shas

    Party Leader: Eliyahu Yishai
    Campaign Slogans: 1) Those for G-d, To Me! 2) A True Social Leader 3) Choose Life
    Official Web Site: www.shasnet.org.il
    Key Points In Platform:

    • Sephardic religious movement, led by spiritual mentor Rabbi Ovadia Yosef
    • Governmental policies should be based on strict Jewish law
    • In the past, prepared to relinquish land in return for peace, but uncomfortable with this policy given increased terror

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    Shinui

    Party Leader: Ron Lowenthal
    Campaign Slogans: Shinui - Home of secular Israelis and the middle class
    Official Web Site: www.Shinui.org.il
    Key Points In Platform:

    • Liberal, Zionist, secular party
    • For a secular state in form of separating religion and state
    • In favor of territorial compromise for peace, but tough on security
    • Supports a free-market economy and privatization of government owned businesses

    What the critics are saying about Shinui:
    Shinui is destined to die in this election. Kadima has replaced Shinui as Israel's centrist voice, without the vehement anti-religious stance espoused by Shinui's leadership.

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    Hadash - Democratic Front for Peace and Equality

    Party Leader: Mohammad Barakeh
    Campaign Slogans: Two States for Two People
    Official Web Site: www.Hadash.org.il
    Key Points In Platform:

    • Communist ideology
    • Improving status of disadvantaged Israelis
    • Formation of democratic and secular constitution
    • Improving rights for Israeli Arabs and women
    • Supports Israel as a state of all its citizens rather than a 'Jewish State'
    • Supports formation of a Palestinian state
    • Supports rights of Palestinian refugees of 1948 to either return ("right of return") or be compensated for property abandoned

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    United Arab List

    Party Leader: Ibrahim Tzartzur
    Campaign Slogans: TBA
    Official Web Site: TBD
    Key Points In Platform:

    • Union of three Israeli Arab parties - United Arab Party (Ra'am), Arab National Party (Mada) and Islamic Movement
    • Israel should become a state of all its inhabitants and not have overtly Jewish character
    • Full Israeli withdrawal from West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem
    • Establishment of Palestinian state with Jerusalem as capital
    • Right of return for Palestinian refugees of 1948

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    Torah and Shabbat Judaism

    Party Leader: Yakov Litzman
    Campaign Slogans: For Israelis who honor Shabbat
    Official Web Site: None
    Key Points In Platform:

    • Coalition of Ashkenazi ultra-orthodox parties
    • Governmental policies should be based on Jewish law
    • Believes the Land of Israel was given by G-d to the Jewish People
    • Advocate on behalf of their constituency regarding government budgets and social services

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    Yisrael Beitenu-'Israel is our Home'

    Party Leader: Avigdor Liberman
    Campaign Slogans: Who fill fight the raging crime on the streets? Olmert, Netanyahu, Lieberman "nyet, nyet, da" (no, no, yes in Russian)
    Official Website: http://www.beytenu.org.il/
    Key Points in Platform:

    • Right wing party
    • Strong security and anti-crime platform
    • Rejects negotiations with Hamas-led PA
    • Supports re-drawing the borders to maximize the number of Jews and minimizing the number of Arabs within the future permanent borders of Israel by exchanging Israeli lands heavily populated by Arabs (the Arab triangle in the Northern Galilee) for the large settlement blocks and the Jordan valley.

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    Small Political Parties (Currently not in the Knesset)

    Brit Olam

    Party Leader: Ofer Lifschitz
    Campaign Slogans: n/a
    Official Website: n/a
    Key Points in Platform:

    • Changing perceptions to put people in the center

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    Da'am-The Workers Party

    Party Leader: Agvaria Asama
    Campaign Slogans:
    Official Website: http://www.odaction.org/
    Key Points in Platform:

    • Marxist party operating inside Israel to organize the working class, especially the Arab workers.
    • Opposed to the current Israeli government
    • Opposed to the current PA & Muslim fundamentalism

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    Gil

    Party Leader: Eitan Pentman Rephael
    Campaign Slogans: n/a
    Official Website: n/a
    Key Points in Platform:

    • Advocating on behalf of senior citizens

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    Green Leaf Party

    Party Leader: Boaz Wachtel
    Campaign Slogans: A vote for freedom
    Official Web Site: www.Ale-Yarok.org.il
    Key Points In Platform:

    • Advocates legalization of cannabis for medicinal and recreational use

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    Greens

    Party Leader: Pe'er Weissner
    Campaign Slogans: Defending the Land
    Official Web Site: www.Green-Party.org.il
    Key Points In Platform:

    • Focused on improving quality of life in Israel - particularly as relates to safeguarding the environment

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    Halev - Fight the Banks

    Party Leader: Eliezer Levinger
    Campaign Slogans: n/a
    Official Website: http://hlv.org.il/
    Key Points in Platform:

    • Party dedicated to fighting the power of the banks in Israel

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    Herut

    Party Leader: Michael Kleiner
    Campaign Slogans: Bringing back a voice on the Right (Slogan is a play on words, can be read: Bringing back everything to the Right)
    Official Web Site: http://www.herut.org.il
    Key Points In Platform:

    • Unflinching right-wing platform based on security and demographic rationale including support of Aliyah, promoting increased Jewish birthrates and limiting non-Jewish emigration to Israel.
    • The Torah and Jewish tradition should serve as the foundation for the State of Israel
    • Full responsibilities for all citizens of Israel including national service by the Arab population.

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    Hetz-The Secular Zionist Party

    Party Leader: Avraham Poraz
    Campaign Slogans: I'm too am a secular arrow (Hetz in Hebrew is arrow).
    Official Website: http://www.hetz.org.il/
    Key Points in Platform:

    • Break-away from Shinui
    • Ardently secular party, advocating the extreme separation of religion and state in Israel
    • Supports establishment of a Palestinian state

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    Jewish National Front (Hazit)

    Party Leader: Baruch Marzel
    Campaign Slogans: TBA
    Official Website: http://www.hazit.co.il/
    Key Points in Platform:

    • Far-Right Party
    • Advocates Presidential system of government and regional elections to bring accountability to constituents to members of Knesset
    • Supports economic reforms to make Israel a true market economy
    • Reform of the judicial system to make judiciary more representative of Israeli society.
    • Amendment of the Law of Return to eliminate the 'grandparent clause' that allows many non-Jews to make aliyah.
    • The development of a constitution that facilitates Jewish leadership, fosters secular-religious harmony, secures civil and religious liberty, and promotes Jewish national pride and purpose.

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    Lechem

    Party Leader: Yisrael Tvito
    Campaign Slogans: n/a
    Official Website: n/a
    Key Points in Platform:

    • Social justice party founded by social activist Vikki Knafo who gained notoriety by walking from her home in Mitzpe Rimon to Jerusalem where she led a protest against the budgetary cuts enacted by then Finance minister Bibi Netanyahu.

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    Leeder

    Party Leader: Alexander Radko
    Campaign Slogans: TBA
    Official Web Site: None
    Key Points In Platform:

    • Party advocating on behalf of the Russian immigrant community.

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    Lev

    Party Leader: Ovadia Fatchov
    Campaign Slogans: n/a
    Official Website: n/a
    Key Points in Platform:

    • Immigrant rights party helping olim absorb in Israel

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    National Arab Party

    Party Leader: Muhamad Kanan
    Campaign Slogans: n/a
    Official Website: n/a
    Key Points in Platform:

    • Promoting the rights of Arab-Israelis

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    New Zionism

    Party Leader: Yaakov Kfir
    Campaign Slogans: n/a
    Official Website: n/a
    Key Points in Platform:

    • Advocating a socio-economic agenda

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    One Future

    Party Leader: Avraham Negusa
    Campaign Slogans: n/a
    Official Website: http://atidechad.org/
    Key Points in Platform:

    • Promotes the rights of Ethiopian olim

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    Strength to the Poor

    Party Leader: Felix Angel
    Campaign Slogans: n/a
    Official Website: n/a
    Key Points in Platform:

    • Social justice for Israel's poor

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    Tafnit

    Party Leader: Uzi Dayan
    Campaign Slogans: A new agenda for Israel
    Official Website: www.Tafnit.org
    Key Points in Platform:

    • New Centrist party led by former Deputy Chief of General Staff
    • Promote a three-year plan of complete disengagement from the Palestinians with the completion of the security fence, withdrawal to a strategic and defensible border with major settlement blocks and the Jordan Valley, areas around Ben Gurion airport and Kiryat Arba area around Hevron to be included as part of Israel.
    • Improving Jewish and Democratic education.
    • Formalizing the relationship between religion and state.

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    Tzedek Lakol (formerly the Men's Rights in the Family Party)

    Party Leader: Yaakov Shlusser
    Campaign Slogans: n/a
    Official Website: n/a
    Key Points in Platform:

    • Party formed to protect the rights of men in issues of equal parental rights.

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    Tzomet

    Party Leader: Moshe Green
    Campaign Slogans: n/a
    Official Website: n/a
    Key Points in Platform:

    • Secular Right wing party founded by former IDF Chief of Staff Rafael Eitan, strongly opposed to any territorial withdrawals.

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