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

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




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