The Israeli Elections: 27 Parties of All Kinds Running (part 1 of a Series)
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The Israeli Elections: 27 Parties of All Kinds Running (part 1 of a Series)

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Here is the official list of the 27 parties approved by the Central Elections Committee to run in the Nov. 1 election for the 12th Knesset:


1. LIKUD– Hebrew name means “Consolidation.” Comprises Herut, the Liberal Party and Ometz. Won 41 seats in 1984.

2. LABOR ALIGNMENT– No longer technically an alignment, since Mapam is running separately, but Labor nevertheless decided to keep the name, which in Hebrew is Maarach. Together with Mapam, won 44 seats in 1984.

3. MAPAM– The name is an acronym for Mifleget Poalim Meuhedet, the United Workers Party.

4. TEHIYA– The Hebrew name means “Renaissance.” Together with Tsomet, won five seats in 1984.

5. CITIZENS RIGHTS MOVEMENT– The Hebrew name forms the acronym Ratz. Won three seats in 1984.

6. NATIONAL RELIGIOUS PARTY– The Hebrew name is Mafdal, an acronym for Miflaga Datit Leumit, National Religious Party. Won four seats in 1984.

7. SHAS– Sephardi Torah Guardians. The Hebrew acronym also stands for Shisha Sidrei Mishna, the six series of the Mishna, meaning the entire body of Talmudic literature. Won four seats in 1984.

8. DEMOCRATIC FRONT FOR PEACE AND EQUALITY– The Israel Communist Party. Known in Hebrew as Hadash, an acronym for Hazit Democratit Leshalom, Democratic Front for Peace. Party is also commonly known by a previous acronym, Rakah. Won four seats in 1984.

9. CENTER-SHINUI MOVEMENT– This is a merger of the Shinui party, the Independent Liberal Party (now a faction within the Labor Alignment) and the stillborn Center Movement, which arose and virtually collapsed during 1987. Shinui won three seats in 1984.

10. PROGRESSIVE LIST FOR PEACE– Won two seats in 1984.

11. AGUDAT YISRAEL– Won two seats in 1984.

12. TSOMENT — Movement For Zionist Renewal. A split-off from Tehiya.


13. AHDUT– The word means “Unity.” But the official name of the party is Victor Tayar for the Knesset. He has run many times and always failed by a long shot. Says this is his last try.

14. ARAB DEMOCRATIC PARTY– A breakaway faction from Labor headed by Arab Knesset member Abdle Wahab Daroushe.

15. DEREKH ERETZ– Translates as Good Manners.

16. PENSIONERS PARTY– The Hebrew name is Gimlaim, which means pensioners. Led by Dr. Aba Gefen, onetime ambassador to Romania and longtime fighter for a better economic deal for pensioners.

17. THE QUIET FORCE– The Hebrew name is Hakoach Hashaket.

18. DEGEL HATORAH– This is an Agudat Yisrael breakaway party instigated by Bnei Brak sage Rabbi Eliezer Schach. It comprises the Mitnagged (non-Hasidic) wing of Agudah.

19. LAOR– Means “To the Light.” Headed by well-known writer, thinker and former army officer Yaacov Hisdai.

20. MEIMAD– A breakaway from NRP that advocates moderation on the territorial issue and on religious legislation. Of all the new lists, Meimad is the likeliest to make it to the next Knesset, according to pundits and pollsters.

21. MOLEDET– Means “Homeland.” This is a far-right party advocating the negotiated transfer of Palestinian Arabs from Israel and the territories to surrounding countries. The party leader is former army Gen. Rehavam Zeevi, present director of the Tel Aviv Museum, who is known by the nickname Gandhi.

22. VETERANS PARTY– Advocates a better deal for discharged soldiers.





27. YISHAI– Together the Tribes of Israel.

Meimad, Degel Hatorah, Daroushe’s party, Moledet and perhaps the Pensioners stand a chance of winning seats in the Knesset. But none of the other new parties is likely to break through the threshold required for representation in the 120-seat parliament, which is 1 percent of all votes cast. In Israeli politics, however, surprises are the order of the day.


Several parties represented in the current Knesset are not running or are running as part of other parties.

KACH, which won one seat in 1984, was barred from running by a majority decision of the Central Knesset Election Committee. The ruling was upheld by the High Court of Justice.

YAHAD, which won three seats in 1984, is now part of the Labor Alignment.

MORASHA, which won two seats, is defunct. Its members have joined various other parties.

TAMI, a one-man party, is now part of the Likud.

OMETZ, an acronym that stands for Courage to Cure the Economy, is part of the Likud. It also won one seat in 1984.

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