- List of political parties in Israel
political systemis based on proportional representationwhich allows for a multi-partysystem with numerous parties. Although there are three major parties, a single party usually has no chance of gaining power by itself, forcing the parties to cooperate and form coalition governments. This article lists the political parties in Israel.
In the English-language media some parties are known by their Hebrew name, whilst others have their names translated into English. However, there is some method behind the inconsistency, and naming conventions can be broken into three groups.
Parties known by their English name
In general, Israeli political parties are known by their English name when there is a party with an equivalent name in the English-speaking world. This is the case for the Israeli Labour Party, which associates itself with Labour parties abroad, such as the British Labour Party. Other parties known by their English names include the National Union, the
Jewish National Frontand the The Greens.
Names are also generally translated when the party's origin or concept is explained in its name. This includes the
United Arab List, the National Religious Partyor United Torah Judaism. The latter two are also known by their English initials, NRP and UTJ.
Occasionally names are translated when the Hebrew is too unwieldy for English speakers to manage, such as the Alignment ("HaMa'arakh").
Parties known by their Hebrew name
Israeli political parties that do not have an equivalent in the English-speaking world are usually known by their Hebrew name. This includes parties such as
Kadima("Forward"), Likud("Consolidation"), Meretz ("Energy") and Yisrael Beiteinu("Israel Our Home").
Parties known by their Hebrew/Arabic acronym
It is very common in Israel for parties to be known by acronyms of their name. This is at least partially caused by Hebrew and Arabic's capacity for acronym forming, due to the fact that vowels are not written in words. For instance, the Hebrew word "degel" (flag) would be written "dgl" (Hebrew: דגל) with the gaps filled by unwritten vowels. Thus whilst the
Scottish National Partyis known as the SNP, in Israel the Democratic Front for Peace ("haHazit haDemokratit leSHalom") is known as Hadash. This is also similar to the norm in many Latin American countries; for example, a member of Brazil's " Partido dos Trabalhadores" (PT, or Worker's Party) can be called a "Petista" or a member of the " Partido da Frente Liberal", a "Pefelista."
When written in English, rather than translating the acronym, the Hebrew is used but with the vowels added. Other contemporary parties known by their acronyms include Balad, Gil, Hetz,
Meimadand Shas. Historical parties named in such a way incude Mapai, Mapam, Maki, Gahal, Mizrachi and Rafi.
As with many rules, there are always a few exceptions.
Shinui("Reform") is known by its Hebrew name despite Reform Parties being common internationally.
Parties represented in the current Knesset
The following parties are represented in the 17th Knesset:
The following parties ran for the 2006 elections but did not pass the
Arab National Party
Herut – The National Movement
*Hetz (a new brand name for
Citizen and State)
Jewish National Front/ Yamin Israel
*Justice for All
Organization for Democratic Action
*Party for the War against Banks
Strength to the Poor
Minor political parties
There are several other minor political parties that did not participate in the 2006 elections:
Advanced National Union
*Natural Law Party
The following parties changed their names
*"Banai" became "Tehiya-Bnai" then
*"Equality in Israel-Panthers" became the Unity Party
Development and Peace
*"Hitkhabrut" became the "Renewed Religious National Zionist Party", then Ahi
*"Israel in the Centre" became the Centre Party
*"Meretz" became "Yachad" then
*"Movement for Change and Initiative" became
*"Mizrachi-Hapoel HaMizrachi" became the "National Religious Front" then the
National Religious Party
*"National Responsibility" became
*"National Unity - National Progressive Alliance" became
Progressive National Alliance
*"Parliamentary Group of Bronfman and Tsinker" became "Makhar", then the
*"Party for the Advancement of the Zionist Idea" became the New Liberal Party
*"Rafi – National List" became Ometz
*"Rakah" became Maki
*"Social-Democratic Faction" became the
Independent Socialist Faction
*"Shinui - Centre Party" became "Shinui - the Secular Movement", then "Shinui - Party for the Secular and the Middle Class", but is generally known as
Zionist youth movements
*Betar (associated with
Bnei Akiva("Sons of Akiva", associated with the National Religious Party)
Habonim Dror("The Builders - Freedom", socialist Zionist youth movement)
Hashomer Hatzair("The Young Guard", socialist Zionist youth movement associated with Mapamand Meretz-Yachad)
Magshimey Herut(associated with Herut)
HaNoar HaOved VeHaLomed("The Learning and Working Youth", socialist Zionist youth movement)
Noar Avoda("Labour Youth", associated with Labour)
Noar Moledet("Moledet Youth", associated with Moledet)
Noar Meretz("Meretz Youth", associated with Meretz-Yachad)
Index of political partiesto browse parties by name
List of political partiesto browse parties by country
List of political parties by ideologyto browse parties by name
*Membership of internationals to browse parties by membership of internationals
Liberalism in Israel
* [http://www.justice.gov.il/MOJHeb/RashamMiflagot/reShimatMiflagot.htm Party registrar, list of registered political parties] Ministry of Justice
* [http://www.knesset.gov.il/elections17/eng/list/ListIndex_eng.asp Parties participating in the 2006 elections] Knesset website en icon
* [http://www.knesset.gov.il/faction/eng/FactionListAll_eng.asp All parliamentary groups] Knesset website en icon
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