Kachol Lavan

Kachol Lavan
Leader: Benny Gantz
Current Seats: 35
Recommended candidate for prime minister in the Twenty-First Knesset: Benny Gantz
Supports/Opposes Two-State Solution: Unclear (leans supportive)

Kachol Lavan is the largest opposition ticket, a merger of Benny Gantz’s Hosen Leyisrael, Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid, and Moshe Ya’alon’s Telem. The faction is primarily seen as a vehicle to unseat Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with its preferred option being a unity government with a post-Netanyahu Likud. While the party is broadly centrist, its ideological underpinnings are difficult to place precisely, particularly as they concern the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Gabi Ashkenazi (former IDF chief of staff and the list’s number four) and Yair Lapid support a two-state solution. Benny Gantz has advocated steps to disengage from the Palestinians without a complete withdrawal from the occupied territories, including policies which could be compatible with both one- and two-state proposals. Moshe Ya’alon (a former IDF chief of staff and number three on the list) publicly opposes the two-state solution, a position he reaffirmed in the early stages of the first 2019 Knesset campaign. Kachol Lavan supports amending the Nation-State Law, rather than overturning it entirely.

Kachol Lavan brings together three former IDF chiefs of staff: Benny Gantz, Moshe Ya'alon, and Gabi Ashkenazi.

In April, Kachol Lavan matched Likud’s performance, winning 35 seats. However, Gantz’s bloc failed to receive sufficient recommendations from other parties to form a coalition, and Likud was not supportive of a national-unity government. Kachol Lavan campaigned on a promise not to sit with the Arab parties, and all four Israeli Arab factions failed to recommend any candidate as prime minister.

Kachol Lavan embraces the idea of a unity government with a post-Netanyahu Likud.

In the current campaign, Benny Gantz remains Kachol Lavan’s number one, and Yair Lapid has retained a rotation agreement in which he would take on the premiership after Gantz’s first two years as prime minister. However, it is unclear how this arrangement would function if Kachol Lavan were to enter into a unity government with Likud.