Israeli Elections 2019

With the Israeli general election due to take place on 9 April, MEMO takes a look at the major political parties, their top candidates and campaign promises on key topics affecting the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Click the "more about the party" buttons below to see a summary of each party's manifesto and what the party leaders have said about Jerusalem, the occupied West Bank and the besieged Gaza Strip. Stay tuned for updates as election day nears.
 

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Meet the Parties

Likud

"It's either Bibi or Tibi"

35

Candidates in 2019 Election

Led By

Benjamin Netanyahu

Position on Key Issues

On Jerusalem:
Israeli
On the West Bank:
Annex the area
On Gaza:
Eye for an eye
On Conflict Solution:
Not 1967 Borders
On Nation-State Law:
Us or Them

Israel Resilience Party (Hosen L'Yisrael)

"Israel before everything"

Part of the Blue and White (Kahol Lavan) bloc
25

Candidates in 2019 Election

Led By

Benny Gantz

Position on Key Issues

On Jerusalem:
Israeli
On the West Bank:
Increased settlement
On Gaza:
Eye for an eye
On Conflict Solution:
Not 1967 Borders
On Nation-State Law:
Needs Fixing

Yesh Atid

"What they broke, we will fix"

Part of the Blue and White (Kahol Lavan) bloc
30

Candidates in 2019 Election

Led By

Yair Lapid

Position on Key Issues

On Jerusalem:
Israeli
On the West Bank:
Israeli; Annex Jordan Valley
On Gaza:
Hamas is a Security Threat, but area needs Economic Stability
On Conflict Solution:
Not 1967 Borders
On Nation-State Law:
Needs Fixing

New Right (Hayemin Hehadash)

"The right-wing's commando unit"

12

Candidates in 2019 Election

Led By

Naftali Bennett

Position on Key Issues

On Jerusalem:
Israeli
On the West Bank:
Annex West Bank
On Gaza:
Strike before they strike us
On Conflict Solution:
No Palestinian state
On Nation-State Law:
Us or Them

Hadash-Ta'al

10

Candidates in 2019 Election

Led By

Ayman Odeh

Position on Key Issues

On Jerusalem:
Split
On the West Bank:
Anti-occupation
On Gaza:
Israel needs to take responsibility for Gaza
On Conflict Solution:
Two-State
On Nation-State Law:
full equal citizenship for all in democratic Israel

Ra'am-Balad

7

Candidates in 2019 Election

Led By

Mansour Abbas

Position on Key Issues

On Jerusalem:
Split
On the West Bank:
Anti-occupation
On Gaza:
Israel needs to take responsibility for Gaza
On Conflict Solution:
Two-State
On Nation-State Law:
full equal citizenship for all in democratic Israel

Jewish Home

"Committed To More"

Part of the Union of Right Wing Parties bloc
9

Candidates in 2019 Election

Led By

Rafi Peretz

Position on Key Issues

On Jerusalem:
Israeli
On the West Bank:
Annex Area C, Increase Settlement
On Gaza:
Strike before they strike us
On Conflict Solution:
No Palestinian state
On Nation-State Law:
Us or Them

National Union

"Committed To More"

Part of the Union of Right Wing Parties bloc
2

Candidates in 2019 Election

Led By

Bezalel Smotrich

Position on Key Issues

On Jerusalem:
Israeli
On the West Bank:
Annex Area C, Increase Settlement
On Gaza:
Strike before they strike us
On Conflict Solution:
No Palestinian state
On Nation-State Law:
Us or Them

Jewish Power (Otzma Yehudit)

Part of the Union of Right Wing Parties bloc
2

Candidates in 2019 Election

Led By

Michael Ben-Ari

Position on Key Issues

On Jerusalem:
Israeli
On the West Bank:
Annex Area C, Increase Settlement
On Gaza:
Strike before they strike us
On Conflict Solution:
No Palestinian state
On Nation-State Law:
Us or Them

Meretz

"There can be no change in government without Meretz"

10

Candidates in 2019 Election

Led By

Tamar Zandberg

Position on Key Issues

On Jerusalem:
Split
On the West Bank:
Anti-occupation
On Gaza:
No escalation
On Conflict Solution:
Two-State
On Nation-State Law:
full equal citizenship for all in democratic Israel

Israeli Labor Party

"Back to work"

9

Candidates in 2019 Election

Led By

Avi Gabbay

Position on Key Issues

On Jerusalem:
Israeli
On the West Bank:
Maintain Settlement
On Gaza:
Strike before they strike us
On Conflict Solution:
Not 1967 Borders
On Nation-State Law:
Us or Them

Shas

10

Candidates in 2019 Election

Led By

Aryeh Deri

Position on Key Issues

On Jerusalem:
Israeli
On the West Bank:
Increase settlement
On Gaza:
Eye for an eye
On Conflict Solution:
Two-State
On Nation-State Law:
Us or Them

United Torah Judaism (Degel HaTorah and Agudat Yisrael)

10

Candidates in 2019 Election

Led By

Yaakov Litzman

Position on Key Issues

On Jerusalem:
Israeli
On the West Bank:
Increase settlement
On Gaza:
Eye for an eye
On Conflict Solution:
No Palestinian state
On Nation-State Law:
Us or Them

Kulanu

12

Candidates in 2019 Election

Led By

Moshe Kahlon

Position on Key Issues

On Jerusalem:
Israeli
On the West Bank:
Annex Area C
On Gaza:
No escalation
On Conflict Solution:
Not 1967 Borders
On Nation-State Law:
Needs Fixing

Yisrael Beiteinu

"Lo Dofek Heshbon [do not give a damn what others think]"

10

Candidates in 2019 Election

Led By

Avigdor Lieberman

Position on Key Issues

On Jerusalem:
Israeli
On the West Bank:
Annex West Bank
On Gaza:
Strike before they strike us
On Conflict Solution:
No Palestinian state
On Nation-State Law:
Us or Them

Gesher

10

Candidates in 2019 Election

Led By

Orly Levy-Abekasis

All Israel are Brothers for Social Equality

2

Candidates in 2019 Election

Led By

Alali Adamso

Position on Key Issues

On Jerusalem:
Israeli

Zehut

6

Candidates in 2019 Election

Led By

Moshe Feiglin

Position on Key Issues

On Jerusalem:
Israeli
On the West Bank:
Increase settlement, annex West Bank
On Gaza:
Annex
On Conflict Solution:
One Israeli state

Blue and White alliance (Kahol Lavan)

Just hours before the deadline to submit party listings on 21 February, the Israel Resilience party (Hosen L’Yisrael) and Yesh Atid announced that they had reached an agreement to run together in the upcoming general election, calling their merged list the Blue and White (Kahol Lavan) alliance.

Under the agreement the two parties’ leaders - Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid - will rotate the premiership, with Gantz first serving as prime minister for 2.5 years and Lapid then serving for a further 2.5 years.

The agreement also saw former Chief of Staff of the Israeli army, Gabi Ashkenazi, join the ticket. In what will be seen as a coup for the two centrist parties, it is thought that Ashkenazi will bring with him a substantial Mizrahi (Middle Eastern Jewish) vote given his family heritage.

Kahol Lavan is now thought to be the biggest threat to incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud party’s dominance of the Knesset. However, it is as yet unclear whether the alliance will win enough seats to be tasked with forming the government after 9 April.

The Union of Right-Wing Parties

The Union of Right-Wing parties was formed as an alliance between the Jewish Home, National Union and Jewish Power (Otzma Yehudit) parties, and will now run on a joint ticket in the upcoming general election on 9 April.

The Union was formed as part of a deal orchestrated by incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who, fearing an increasingly emboldened centre-left, sought to bolster the right-wing bloc that could support him if he is re-elected and tasked with forming a government.

The Union supports overtly religious-Zionist ideas and is in favour of increased illegal settlement in the occupied West Bank and the annexation of Area C. Several of its prominent members have close ties to the illegal settlement movement, meaning the alliance is likely to play to this electorate in the weeks running up to the election.