Kachol Lavan

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.

Party List:

1. Benny Gantz

2. Yair Lapid

3. Moshe Ya’alon

4. Gabi Ashkenaz.

5. Avi Nissenkorn

6. Meir Cohen

7. Miki Haimovich

8. Ofer Shelah

9. Yoaz Hendel

10. Orna Barbivai

11. Michael Biton

12. Chili Tropper

13. Yael German

14. Zvi Hauser

15. Orit Farkash-Hacohen

16. Karin Elharrar

17. Meirav Cohen

18. Yoel Razvozov

19. Asaf Zamir

20. Izhar Shay

21. Elazar Stern

22. Mickey Levy

23. Omer Yankelevich

24. Pnina Tamano-Shata

25. Gadeer Mreeh

26. Ram Ben Barak

27. Alon Shuster

28. Yoav Segalovitz

29. Ram Shefa

30. Boaz Toporovsky

31. Orly Fruman

32. Eitan Ginzburg

33. Gadi Yevarkan

34. Idan Roll

35. Yorai Lahav Hertzanu


Likud

The Likud

Leader: Benjamin Netanyahu
Current Seats: 39 (as Likud and Kulanu)
Recommended candidate for prime minister in the Twenty-First Knesset: Benjamin Netanyahu (as Likud and Kulanu)
Supports/Opposes Two-State Solution: Opposes

Likud, the party of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is Israel’s largest right-wing party. In 1977, under Menachem Begin’s leadership, the party broke the three-decade electoral monopoly of the Labor Party and its antecedents. Since then, it has been a dominant force in Israeli politics, returning to lead the government under prime ministers Yitzhak Shamir, Benjamin Netanyahu, and Ariel Sharon.

Last year, the Likud Central Committee overwhelmingly voted to endorse de facto annexation of West Bank Area C.

December 2017

The party’s primary philosophy includes a more hardline approach toward territorial concessions for the Palestinians and a commitment to economic liberalism (the latter tenet has mattered less as an ideological determinant since the privatization of Israel’s economy). While Benjamin Netanyahu has offered tepid endorsement of a two-state solution (which he has since walked back), the party officially opposes the creation of a Palestinian state. Last year, the Likud Central Committee overwhelmingly voted to endorse de facto annexation of West Bank Area C. On the eve of the April elections, Prime Minister Netanyahu promised to annex West Bank settlements, without regard for their size or location.


The party remains broadly committed to keeping Prime Minister Netanyahu in office, despite pending indictments against him in three corruption cases. In the last election cycle, Likud won 35 seats, but failed to form a government that would vote to grant Netanyahu immunity when Avigdor Liberman refused to have his Yisrael Beiteinu sit alongside the ultra-Orthodox parties. Theoretically, Likud sans-Netanyahu could have joined a unity government with Kachol Lavan. However, the party supported the prime minister’s push for new elections instead. Likud MKs like Gideon Saar and Michal Shir, perceived as critical of Netanyahu, ultimately voted in favor of dissolving the Knesset and moving to new elections.

Benjamin Netanyahu became the longest serving prime minister in Israeli history after April’s election.

In the lead up to the current election cycle, Likud merged with the center-right socioeconomic issues-focused party Kulanu, led by Moshe Kahlon, himself a former Likudnik. However, the party risks losing support to smaller right-wing factions, and Netanyahu is making shutting out Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu a special priority.

Party List:

1. Benjamin Netanyahu

2. Yuli Edelstein

3. Yisrael Katz

4. Gilad Erdan

5. Moshe Kahlon

6. Gideon Sa’ar

7. Miri Regev

8. Yariv Levin

9. Yoav Gallant

10. Nir Barkat

11. Gila Gamliel

12. Avi Dichter

13. Zeev Elkin

14. Haim Katz

15. Eli Cohen

16. Tzachi Hanegbi

17. Ofir Akunis

18. Yuval Steinitz

19. Tzipi Hotovely

20. David Amsalem

21. Amir Ohana

22. Ofir Katz

23. Etty Atia

24. Yoav Kish

25. David Bitan

26. Keren Barak

27. Shlomo Karhi

28. Miki Zohar

29. Yifat Shasha-Biton

30. Sharren Haskel

31. Michal Shir

32. Keti Shitrit

33. Patin Mula

34. May Golan

35. Tali Ploskov

36. Uzi Dayan

37. Ariel Kallner

38. Osnat Mark

39. Amit Halevi

40. Nissim Vaturi

41. Shevach Stern

42. Ayoub Kara

43. Moti Yogev

44. Yehuda Glick

45. Nurit Koren


Yamina

Yamina

Leader: Ayelet Shaked
Current Seats: 5
Recommended candidate for prime minister in the Twenty-First Knesset: Benjamin Netanyahu
Supports/Opposes Two-State Solution: Opposes

The United Right is a joint list including Ayelet Shaked’s Hayamin Hehadash, Rabbi Rafi Peretz’s Habayit Hayehudi, and Bezalel Smotrich’s Tkuma.

In the last election campaign, Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked split from Habayit Hayehudi to form Hayamin Hehadash. However, they failed to pass the electoral threshold.

In the last election campaign, Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked split from Habayit Hayehudi to form Hayamin Hehadash, in order to separate their brand of right-wing politics from the perceived narrow religious interests of factions like Tkuma. However, their new list failed to pass the electoral threshold. Meanwhile, at the urging of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the rump Bayit Yehudi (including Tkuma) merged with the Kahanist faction Otzma Yehudit, yielding five seats as the Union of Right-Wing Parties. With the advent of a new election, Shaked and Bennett decided to return to politics, this time with Shaked in the number one spot in Hayamin Hehadash. Despite initial resistance from Peretz, Shaked, who is widely popular on the right in Israel, was granted the leadership of the united list.

Former IDF Chief Rabbi Rafi Peretz was elected to lead Bayit Yehudi after Naftali Bennett’s departure.

It has long been speculated that Ayelet Shaked would eventually like to assume the leadership of Likud once Benjamin Netanyahu is off the scene. The prime minister and his wife, Sara, are both distrusting of Shaked, whom Netanyahu fired after the April elections from her position as minister of justice, along with Naftali Bennett as education minister. Netanyahu also declined to fast-track Shaked’s candidacy with Likud for the September elections, and has resisted calls to run a joint ticket with the Union of Right-Wing Parties.

Party List:

1. Ayelet Shaked

2. Rafi Peretz

3. Bezalel Smotrich

4. Naftali Bennett

5. Moti Yogev

6. Ofir Sofer

7. Matan Kahana

8. Idit Salman

9. Roni Sassover

10. Orit Strok

11. Shai Maimon

12. Shuli Moalem-Refaeli

13. Eli Ben Dahan

14. Yossi Cohen

15. Shirley Pinto

 


Yisrael Beiteinu

Yisrael Beiteinu

Leader: Avigdor Liberman
Current Seats: 5
Recommended candidate for prime minister in the Twenty-First Knesset: Benjamin Netanyahu
Supports/Opposes Two-State Solution: Supports (Liberman plan)

Yisrael Beiteinu is a right-wing political party established in 1999 by Avigdor Liberman. Soviet-born Liberman launched the party as a special interests faction to represent the concern of Israel’s million-plus Russian-speaking immigrant community. Today, however, the party seeks a more national orientation, aiming to recruit supporters from outside the Russian Israeli community.

Yisrael Beiteinu officially supports a version of the two-state solution colloquially known as the Liberman Plan.

Although Yisrael Beiteinu had its worst finish ever in April, yielding only five seats, Prime Minister Netanyahu needed the party to join his coalition in order to have a majority in the Knesset. Avigdor Liberman ultimately took a firm stance on ultra-Orthodox conscription, prompting a confrontation with the United Torah Judaism and Shas parties. Netanyahu initially sided with Liberman before backing up the religious parties, while Liberman failed to join the government, despite having recommended Netanyahu as prime minister. Rather than allow another candidate to form the government, Prime Minister Netanyahu moved for new elections.

Avigdor Liberman resigned as defense minister in protest over a ceasefire with Hamas, bringing the coalition to a single-seat majority. Now he’s trying to market himself as a more authentically right-wing candidate than Netanyahu.

Liberman’s stand on secularism is in line with his previous positions, although he has sat in government with the ultra-Orthodox parties before. His refusal to bow to ultra-Orthodox demands appeals to a largely secular Russian-speaking base (immigrants from the former Soviet Union have often been mistreated by Israel’s religious authorities), as well as to the broader Israeli public. Current polling indicates that this could benefit Yisrael Beiteinu come election day. However, there is also an element of personal rivalry between Netanyahu and Liberman, who was once the prime minister’s subordinate within Likud. Because of this, Netanyahu has taken a particularly vindictive tack against his erstwhile colleague. Liberman, for his part, is calling for a national unity government including his party, Kachol Lavan, and Likud, and excluding leftist factions and the predominantly Arab Joint List. Such an eventuality would presumably exclude Netanyahu too, as Kachol Lavan has committed to not join a government in which the prime minister faces indictment. Liberman seeks the defense, immigration absorption, interior, and health ministries for his party.


Avigdor Liberman lives in the West Bank settlement of Nokdim. However, Yisrael Beiteinu officially supports a version of the two-state solution colloquially known as the Liberman Plan. Under the Liberman Plan, large settlements would be annexed to Israel, but predominantly Arab parts of Israel, such as the Triangle in northern Israel, would be ceded a future Palestinian state. This program is strongly opposed by Palestinian citizens of Israel, who do not want to surrender their citizenship. Liberman is hawkish on military affairs, often seeking to position himself as more militant than Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Indeed, it was Liberman who brought the coalition to a single-seat majority when he resigned in protest over a ceasefire with Hamas in Gaza, criticizing Netanyahu’s government as soft on terror.

Party List:

1. Avigdor Lieberman

2. Oded Forer

3. Evgeny Sova

4. Eli Avidar

5. Yulia Malinovsky

6. Hamad Amar

7. Alex Kushnir

8. Mark Ifraimov

9. Limor Magen-Telem

10. Elina Bardach-Yalov

11. Shadi Halul

12. Alex Fridman

13. David Davidyan

14. Shahar Alon

15. Ilana Kartysh


United Torah Judaism

United Torah Judaism

Leader: Moshe Gafni (Degel Hatorah) and Yaakov Litzman (Agudat Yisrael)
Current Seats: 8
Recommended candidate for prime minister in the Twenty-First Knesset: Benjamin Netanyahu
Supports/Opposes Two-State Solution: Unclear


United Torah Judaism is the Ashkenazi ultra-Orthodox list, a union of two parties: the “Lithuanian” non-Hasidic Degel Hatorah and the Hasidic Agudat Yisrael. Moshe Gafni leads Degel Hatorah and Yaakov Litzman leads Agudat Yisrael, while each party’s respective political infrastructure is subordinate to separate rabbinical leaderships.

UTJ is a union of two ultra-Orthodox Ashkenazi parties.

UTJ is a non-Zionist faction which does not endorse the creation of a secular Jewish state. Accordingly, the party maintains no political commitment to Israeli sovereignty over specific territories and the party has been open to concessions in the past. This peculiarity also means that UTJ MKs tend only to be awarded minor portfolios in the cabinet in order to distance themselves as much as possible from the institutions of the State of Israel, and officially serve as deputy ministers rather than as full cabinet ministers.

MK Yaakov Litzman heads Agudat Yisrael, one of UTJ’s constituent factions.

UTJ secured eight seats in the April elections, and is aiming to repeat the same performance in September. Avigdor Liberman, who refused to join a coalition over issues of ultra-Orthodox conscription, is aiming to take the health ministry for his Yisrael Beiteinu party after elections. Notably, this portfolio was previously held by UTJ/Agudat Yisrael leader Yaakov Litzman.

Party List:

1. Yaakov Litzman

2. Moshe Gafni

3. Meir Porush

4. Uri Maklev

5. Yaakov Tessler

6. Yakov Asher

7. Israel Eichler

8. Yitzhak Pindrus

9. Eliyahu Hasid

10. Eilyahu Baruchi

 


Shas

Shas

Leader: Aryeh Deri (political), Rabbi Shalom Cohen (spiritual)
Current Seats: 8
Recommended candidate for prime minister in the Twenty-First Knesset: Benjamin Netanyahu
Supports/Opposes Two-State Solution: Unclear

Shas is a right-wing ultra-Orthodox Mizrahi political party, currently chaired by Aryeh Deri and directed by a rabbinical body, the Council of Torah Sages.

An Orthodox Mizrahi party, Shas has both a political leadership and a clerical authority, the Council of Torah Sages. The party's spiritual leader is Rabbi Shalom Cohen.

Shas has previously joined coalitions led by both Likud and Labor, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not one of the party’s main priorities. However, longtime Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef did endorse territorial concessions for the sake of peace during the Oslo process. Moreover, several Shas MKs have voiced support for a two-state solution as envisioned by the Geneva Initiative. Nevertheless, the party lacks an official program related to the question of two states, and leans right on other social issues.

Shas leader MK Aryeh Deri could face legal troubles, and the Council of Torah Sages may be less willing to help him this time.

Shas decried Avigdor Liberman’s confrontation with the ultra-Orthodox parties during coalition negotiations following the April elections. However, Shas maintains that its primary enemy remains Yair Lapid of Kachol Lavan, owing to Lapid’s past campaigning against ultra-Orthodox hegemony, and that Liberman’s efforts should be ignored.

In recent years, Shas has lately been plagued by internal fractures and legal troubles. Former Shas head Eli Yishai launched a new far-right party, Yachad, in 2015. Meanwhile, the Israel Police have recommended indictments against party leader Aryeh Deri on corruption charges (Deri was previously jailed for corruption). While Deri was previously restored to the Shas leadership by the party’s rabbinical overseers, the Council of Torah Sages have been more tepid in their support for the embattled chairman this time around. Investigations into Deri over graft allegations remain open, with police questioning the Shas leader as recently as June 2019.

Party List:

1. Arye Dery

2. Yitzhak Cohen

3. Meshulam Nahari

4. Yaakov Margi

5. Yoav Ben Tzur

6. Michael Malkieli

7. Moshe Arbel

8. Yinon Azoulay

9. Moshe Abutbul

10. Uriel Busso

 


The Joint List

The Joint List

The Joint List
Leader: Ayman Odeh
Current Seats: 10 (6 as Hadash-Ta’al, 4 as United Arab List-Balad)
Recommended candidate for prime minister in the Twenty-First Knesset: No candidate (as Hadash-Ta’al and United Arab List-Balad)
Supports/Opposes Two-State Solution: Supports

The Joint List is a unified ticket of four major Israeli Arab parties: communist Hadash, secular Arab interest Ta’al, conservative Islamist United Arab List, and nationalist Balad. In previous elections, the different parties have run together in various configurations, often too small to cross the electoral threshold on their own. After Avigdor Liberman advocated raising the threshold in lead up to the 2015 elections, the four parties banded together to become the third largest faction in the Knesset. In 2015, the Joint List released a set of principles, including support for a two-state solution. However, different factions within the list maintain their own positions. Balad, in particular, is not opposed to a two-state solution, but views it as only an interim step toward a single democratic state.

Hadash, Ta'al, the United Arab List, and Balad have struggled to reproduce the unity they demonstrated in the 2015 elections.

After the 2015 election, rotation agreements intended to balance representation among the Joint List’s constituent factions became perennial sources of disagreement, and the parties ceased to function as a unified bloc. In the April election, the Arab parties ran two separate lists Hadash-Ta’al, and United Arab List-Balad.

April’s elections saw the Arab parties collectively lose three seats, as compared with the Joint List’s performance in 2015. Voter turnout dropped from 63.5 percent to 49 percent in Arab communities. Several outside factors contributed to this, including the main opposition party, Kachol Lavan, campaigning on a commitment to not work with Arab parties, and voter intimidation/suppression efforts by Likud contractors, who illegally placed hidden cameras at polling stations in Arab municipalities. However, there was also a sense of disappointment in Israeli Arab politicians for the united ticket’s breakup. Accordingly, the four Arab parties supported Prime Minister Netanyahu’s initiative to dissolve the Knesset and move to new elections, seeing this as an opportunity for a do-over. Shortly after new elections were called in May, the Arab factions declared that they would restart the Joint List.

Hadash leade Ayman Odeh leads the Joint List.

Despite the announcement, mediation between the parties, overseen by a reconciliation committee consisting of prominent Israeli Arab scholars and activists, stalled. Negotiations broke down over a dispute between Hadash, Ta’al, and Balad over the twelfth and fourteenth spots on the Joint List. The reconciliation committee began preparing for an eventuality in which the merger failed to materialize, but Hadash, Ta’al, and the United Arab List ultimately decided to unite on July 28, just days before the deadline for final party registration. Balad confirmed it would join the next day. Both Balad and Ta’al stated they were joining with reservations about the assignment of seats at the bottom of the list.

Hadash chair Ayman Odeh, who leads the Joint List, has vowed not to sit in any coalition that includes Ehud Barak, presumably because of the former prime minister’s poor reputation among Israeli Arabs following the police shooting of 12 Arab citizens and one Gaza Palestinian in a series of October 2000 demonstrations.

Party List:

1. Ayman Odeh

2. Mtanes Shehadeh

3. Ahmad Tibi

4. Mansour Abbas

5. Aida Touma-Sliman

6. Walid Taha

7. Ofer Cassif

8. Heba Yazbak

9. Osama Saadi

10. Yousef Jabareen

11. Said al-Harumi

12. Jaber Asakila

13. Sami Abu Shehadeh

14. Sondos Saleh

15. Iman Khatib

16. Youssef Atauna


Democratic Union

Democratic Union

Democratic Union
Leader: Nitzan Horowitz
Current Seats: 4 (as Meretz)
Recommended candidate for prime minister in the Twenty-First Knesset: Benny Gantz (as Meretz)
Supports/Opposes Two-State Solution: Supports

The Democratic Union is a left-wing alliance, bringing together the social-democratic Meretz party together with former Prime Minister Ehud Barak’s Israel Democratic Party. Member of Knesset Stav Shaffir left the Labor Party in order to help cement the joint left-wing ticket. The Democratic Union aims to unseat Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and its platform includes support for immediate negotiations with the Palestinians based on a two-state solution, revocation of the Nation-State Law, and support for democratic institutions and human rights organizations.

The Democratic Union includes Meretz, Ehud Barak's Israel Democratic Party, and MK Stav Shaffir, who left the Labor Party to join the new bloc.

The purpose of the Democratic Union is to prevent the center-left bloc from splintering or “wasting votes” if several small parties were to fail to cross the threshold. After April’s election, former Prime Minister Ehud Barak’s reentry into politics at the head of the new Israel Democratic Party raised concerns that voters who traditionally supported Meretz and Labor would be split, to the detriment of all parties on the left. When the merger was announced, Meretz chair Nitzan Horowitz was given the top spot on the joint ticket, with Stav Shaffir second. Horowitz is a journalist and former MK who defeated Tamar Zandberg in the Meretz leadership election in June.

In the lead-up to the Democratic Union merger, Israeli Arab Meretz MK Issawi Frej compelled Ehud Barak to apologize for the police killing of twelve Israeli Arab demonstrators and one Gaza Palestinian in October 2000, when Barak was prime minister.

The merger with the Israel Democratic Party brings in potentially valuable figures like former IDF Deputy Chief of Staff Yair Golan, and the Democratic Union is expected to produce a better finish than Meretz would have received by itself. However, Ehud Barak is a controversial figure in Israeli politics. On the right, he is distrusted for withdrawing Israeli forces from southern Lebanon and attempting to negotiate a two-state solution with Yasser Arafat. On the left, he is often criticized for splitting the Labor Party in 2011 in order to retain his position as defense minister in Netanyahu’s government. Many Israeli Arabs also object to Barak’s behavior as prime minister during a series of demonstrations in October 2000 in which 12 Arab citizens and one Gaza Palestinian were killed by police. Meretz MK Isawwi Frej, himself an Israeli Arab, helped smooth Barak’s transition into the merger. Frej compelled the former prime minister to issue a formal apology to the families of those killed in 2000, and the Meretz MK also plans to hold visits with the families. Barak accepted tenth place on the joint party list.

Party List:

1. Nitzan Horowitz

2. Stav Shaffir

3. Yair Golan

4. Tamar Zandberg

5. Ilan Gilon

6. Esawi Freige

7. Yifat Bitton

8. Yael Cohen Paran

9. Noa Rothman

10. Ehud Barak

11. Gilad Kariv

12. Mossi Raz

13. Michal Rozin

14. Yair (Yaya) Fink

15. Smadar Shmueli

16. Zeinab Abu Sweid

17. Malka Armon

18. Avi Buskila

19. Gaby Lasky

20. Ali Salalha

 


Labor-Gesher

Labor-Gesher

Labor-Gesher
Leader: Amir Peretz
Current Seats: 6 (As Labor Party)
Recommended candidate for prime minister in the Twenty-First Knesset: Benny Gantz (as Labor)
Supports/Opposes Two-State Solution: Supports

The Labor Party is a social-democratic party that supports an Israeli-Palestinian settlement based on a two-state solution. Labor, whose antecedents governed Israel uninterrupted for the country’s first three decades, has fallen on hard times. The party saw its worst finish ever in April, coming out with just six seats. Labor’s much-maligned leader, Avi Gabbay, resigned in short order, retiring from politics along with Tal Russo, a former general whom Gabbay had brought into the party shortly before the last election.

In July, Labor leader Amir Peretz united the party with Orly Levy-Abekasis's center-right Gesher party, stirring controversy with Labor's left-wing base.

Several Labor members of Knesset sought to fill the vacancy opened by Gabbay’s retreat from politics. Ultimately, Amir Peretz, a former party chair and minister of defense in Ehud Olmert’s government, secured the position, while MKs Stav Shaffir and Itzik Shmuli, representing the younger, activist wing of the party, split the remainder of the vote.

Amir Peretz, who previously served as Labor leader from 2005-2007, defeated Stav Shaffir and Itzik Shmuli to become party chair in July.

In July, Peretz united Labor with Gesher, the socio-economic issues-focused party of ex-Yisrael Beiteinu MK Orly Levy-Abekasis. Peretz and Levy-Abekasis are both of Moroccan descent, and the aim of the union is to siphon off votes from the right-wing in the poorer, more Mizrahi regions known as the “periphery,” something Peretz successfully accomplished in 2006. However, the perception of Gesher as being a center-right party as well as Levy-Abekasis’s prior association with Avigdor Liberman’s hard-right Yisrael Beiteinu have proven controversial among Labor’s left-wing base. In the wake of the Gesher merger, Stav Shaffir left the party to join Meretz and the Israel Democratic Party, while Itzik Shmuli mulled leaving too before ultimately opting to stay in. Notably, a previous iteration of Gesher led by Levy-Abekasis’s father ran on a joint ticket with Ehud Barak’s Labor in 1999.

The Labor Party emerged from a series of socialist and social-democratic parties, although its leftist economic bent has been subdued in recent decades. Under Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres, the party launched the Oslo peace process with the Palestinians, and Ehud Barak became the first Israeli prime minister to formally support a two-state solution. As Israeli public confidence in a final status agreement wanes, the party has downplayed the issue of two states, with some Labor members expressing doubts about the timeline for the creation of an independent Palestine in the West Bank and Gaza.

Party List:

1. Amir Peretz

2. Orli Levi-Abekasis

3. Itzik Shmuli

4. Merav Michaeli

5. Omer Bar-Lev

6. Revital Swid

7. Haggai Reznik

8. Eran Hermoni

9. Saad Saleh

10. Carmen Elmakiyes-Amos