HOME   |   ABOUT US   |   CONTACT US   |   ELECTION DOWNLOADS   |   GET A CUSTOMIZED Israel Votes SITE >>

Election Headlines | TV

Editorials & Articles


Why Elections Now?

Current Government

Parties & Platforms

Key Political Players

Issue Backgrounders


Israel's Electoral System

2006 Election Results

Israeli History in Brief

Glossary of Terms

Maps of Israel

FAQs


Submit your e-mail for Election Updates:




Platforms

Political Parties & Platforms for 2009

Use this cool Electoral Compass to see who you should pick for Prime Minister given your stance on the issues.

Download the Party Platforms | View Current Political Posters (with Translation)

  Left Left of Center Centrist Right of Center Right
Major Parties   Labor Kadima Likud  
Small Parties
(Running for
Re-election)
  • Meretz
  • National Democratic (Balad)
  • Hadash
  • United Arab List
  • Gil
  • Shas
  • Torah & Shabat
    Judaism
  • The Jewish Home
  • Yisrael Beitenu
  • National Union
  • New Parties

    (Currently not
    in the Knesset).

    The small parties are listed in alphabetical order according to their Hebrew name and the translation appears in parentheses.

    • Acharayut (Responsibility)
    • Aleh Yarok (Green Leaf)
    • Brit Olam Lemaan Yeladeinu (Lasting Promise to Our Children)
    • Da'am (Workers Party)
    • HaTnuah HaYeroka/Meimad (The Green Movement/Meimad)
    • HaYerokim (The Greens)
    • HaYisraelim (The Israelis)
    • Koach HaKesef (The Power of Money)
    • Koach Lehaspiah (Power to Influence)
    • Lazuz
    • Leader
    • Lev (Heart)
    • Lochamei Hevrah Meuchadim (United Fighters for Society)
    • Mahapach BeHinuch (Revolution in Education)
    • Nitzoley Shoah Im Bogrey Aleh Yarok (Holocaust Survivors w/Green Leaf Alumni)
    • Or (Light)
    • Ra'ash (Men's Rights Party)
    • Tzomet-HaTnuah LeZionut Mithadeshet (Junction - Movement for Renewed Zionism)
    • Yisrael Hamithadeshet (Renewed Israel)
    • Yisrael Hazaka (Strong Israel)
    • Zabar (Youth of Israel)

    Major Political Parties

    Kadima

    Party Leader: Tzipi Livni
    Campaign Slogans: 1) The Courage to Change. 2) A Different leadership.

    Official Web Site: http://www.kadima.org.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 as articulated at the Annapolis Peace Conference. However, will not negotiate with Hamas-led PA unless Hamas accepts Israel's right to exist, accepts past agreements between Israel and the Palestinians 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, led by Ehud Olmert, has achieved very little and may have actually resided over Israel's first military loss during a war. The Winograd Commission, that was designed to look into the war and its failings, was scathing in its criticism of Israel's leadership during the war. Olmert's popularity descended to an unprecedented single digit as he fought legal issues. Livni called for Olmert to resign but then retracted her call. Livni's close association with Olmert has tarnished her image.

    Labor

    Party Leader: Ehud Barak
    Campaign Slogans: Look Me in the Eyes and See the Truth, Not Nice, a Leader

    Official Web Site: http://www.havoda.org.il/14-he/Party.aspx
    Key Points In Platform:

    • Willing to negotiate with the Palestinian Authority while remaining strong on security.
    • In favor of the creation of a Palestinian state, while dismantling isolated settlements.
    • Favours increasing the minimum wage, guaranteeing pensions to every employee, and increasing social security benefits for the elderly and the handicapped.
    • Favors maintaining the religious status quo

    What the critics are saying about Labor:
    Few seem to be able to widely differentiate Labor's policies from Kadima's. Since Barak's return to political leadership, he has not been able to stand out and many still resemble his previous leadership and the rumors about his arrogance and tempestuousness. Labor is also veering further away from its socialist origins as it is seen as backed by big-business tycoons and has achieved very little on the issues of welfare.

    Likud and Ahi

    Party Leader: Binyamin Netanyahu
    Campaign Slogans: Because we have a country to run, Remaining strong together
    Official Web Site: http://en.netanyahu.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.
    • In favor of a realistic solution to the advancement of the peace-process. This is accentuated by an economic peace-plan which will bolster the Palestinian economy.
    • Opposed to dismantling of major 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 has taken many newcomers to its list and it appears hard to tell where exactly they fall on the political spectrum. While it has the likes of Dan Meridor and Uzi Dayan on the left of the party, it also has the likes of Moshe Yaalon and Benny Begin who are diametrically opposed. Critics have argued that Likud is running a specifically vague campaign so as not to accentuate the differences within the party.

    Other Political Parties

    Yisrael Beitenu-'Israel is our Home'

    Party Leader: Avigdor Liberman
    Campaign Slogans: Lieberman, I trust him! Leadership You Can Trust.
    Official Website: http://beytenu.org/ 
    Key Points in Platform:

    • A belief that the "land for peace approach" is fundamentally flawed – only a "land for land – peace for peace" approach, in which both parties compromise and commit to certain terms, can succeed.
    • Strong security and anti-crime platform
    • The desire to see Israel join NTAO and the EU
    • Easing of conversions and the introduction of civil unions, while strengethening the Jewish nature of the state.

    Shas

    Party Leader: Eliyahu Yishai
    Campaign Slogans: Yes, We Can
    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
    • Pragmatic approach to security based on the sanctity of life.
    • Returning the higher social payments to large families and increase funding for the Yeshivas.

    Meretz and the New Movement התנועה החדשה מרצ

    Party Leader: Haim Oron
    Campaign Slogans: Doing what is good for Israel
    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 an almost full withdrawal from West Bank, with land swap for the remainder
    • 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

    United Torah Judaism

    Party Leader: Yakov Litzman
    Campaign Slogans: TBA
    Official Web Site: None
    Key Points In Platform:

    • Coalition of Ashkenazi ultra-orthodox parties representing the Hassidic and Lithuanian sects
    • Non-Zionist but would like to see laws strengthen Judaism in Israel
    • Can sit with any of the major parties regarding security issues, but more comfortable with the right as much of its constituency is hawkish
    • Advocate on behalf of their constituency regarding government budgets and social services

    United Arab List

    Party Leader: IbrahimSsarsour
    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
    • The Arabs should be recognized as a national minority and be awarded rights accordingly
    • 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

    National Union

    Party Leader: Ari Ariel, Aryeh Eldad
    Campaign Slogans: Not Afraid At All
    Official Web Site: http://www.leumi.org.il/
    Key Points In Platform:

    • Left HaBayit Hayehudi because it didn't think the joint platform was not hard-line enough on the Greater Land of Israel issue
    • Joined forces with the largely secular hard-line party HaTikva
    • Against any withdrawals from any territory
    • Against the creation of a Palestinian state.

    The Jewish Home - Habayit HaYehudi Habayit Hayehudi

    Party Leader: Daniel Hershkovitz
    Campaign Slogans: Strength, Strength and Be Strengthened
    Official Web Site: http://www.111.org.il/
    Key Points In Platform:

    • New party, replacing the National Religious Party in these elections
    • Against further withdrawals from the West Bank, based on the on security, Biblical and Zionist beliefs
    • Against the creation of a Palestinian state.
    • Strengthening of the state and religious education system

    Hadash - Democratic Front for Peace and Equality Hadash logo

    Party Leader: Mohammad Barakeh
    Campaign Slogans: Building a New Left
    Official Web Site: www.Hadash.org.il
    Key Points In Platform:

    • Non-Zionist and 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

    Gil – The Pensioner's Party

    Party Leader: Rafi Eitan
    Campaign Slogans: TBA
    Official Web Site: http://www.www.gil.org.il/
    Key Points In Platform:

    • Commitment to protecting pension rights, including housing, raising the amount of national health insurance and services for pensioners
    • Politically centrist on security and negotiations with the Palestinians.
    • The maintenance of traditional Jewish values and advancement of democratic values

    Meimad – Green התנועה הירוקה - מימד

    Party Leader: Micahel Melchior
    Campaign Slogans: Choosing a different politics
    Official Web Site: http://hayeruka-meimad.org.il/english
    Key Points In Platform:

    • The party focuses primarily on environmental issues and promotes "politics of cooperation that will promote peace."
    • Politically dovish and believes in a two-state solution based on the 'Green Line'
    • The party backs train transportation as opposed to paving new roads.

    National Democratic Assembly (Balad)

    Party Leader: Jamal Zahalka
    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

    New York Times Birthday Book