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Political Parties (Israel)

Last modified: 2024-01-13 by martin karner
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The 'Provisional Government' of Israel which was the governing body until the first elections included members who came mostly from socialist parties. The leading party was Israel Land Workers Party (MAPAI) which after some unifications and distributions is today's Israel Labour Party which was in power in 1948–1977 and 1992–1996. The Freedom Movement (Kherut) which also after some unifications is today's Likud Party was a rival fraction in 1948 and therefore had no part in the 'Provisional Government'.
Dov Gutterman, 19 February 1999

The flags used during the 1999 political campaign lacked any vexillological value, in my humble opinion. All parties used flags which were usually the name of the party or a slogan on a bed sheet. There were so many variants to each party, you cannot even speak about semi-official flags. Major parties used combinations of blue-azure-white. Some parties used green on white or red and white.
The only party that showed something that can be considered as a semi-official flag was Meretz. In the flag of Ale-Yarok (Green Leaf) party, the famous green leaf replaced the Magen David on the Israeli flag.
Dov Gutterman, 19 May 1999

Both the Likud party, the Labour party and the Moledet flags all show their logo [instead of the Magen David] on the national flag which is a common practice in Israel since many municipalities follow this pattern too.
Dov Gutterman, 13 December 2000

The Arab Parties in the Knesset are:

  • BALAD (Brit Leumit Democratit, Democratic National Assembly): 1 seat
  • National Arab Party (Mifleget Aravit Leumit): 2 seats, departed from the United Arab List, one of them member of the Islamic Movement.
  • United Arab List (Reshima Aravit Meukhedet): 3 seats, after the depart of two members, all remaining members are from MADA (Mifleget Democratit Aravit / Hezb al-Democraty al-Arabi, Arab Democratic Party); Dahamshe is one of the members.
  • TA'AL (Tnua'a Aravit le'Hitkadshut, Arab Movement for Renewal): 1 seat, departed from BALAD.

Dov Gutterman, 29 December 2000

Voting in Israel is done by choosing a note with letter or combination of letters printed on it which represent the party you
desire. Those letters usually don't reflect the real name of the party.
For instance, the labour party use the combination alef-mem-taf (which by no coincidence means Emet = Truth) which is combination of the previous letters of three parties, one of each no longer part of the labour party – Alef of MAPAI – Taf from the taf-vav of Akhdut Ha'Avoda and mem of MAPAM, letter to give the mem to MERETZ). The Likud party use mem-het-lamed which is also combination of previous letters of three parties – mem from the ayin-mem of La'Am, het of
Herut and lamed of the Liberals).
When "Shas" was established the asked and got the letters shin-sameh, and as become with other parties (such as MERETZ), the party is more known by its letters then by its official name.
Dov Gutterman, 12 January 2003

Each party got its own "letter" or combination of letters which sometimes became a second "nickname" for the party or sometimes its publicly known name. Those letters are not alaways connected with the party name.
Therefore the Labour Party is sometimes regarded also as Reshimat Emet (Emet List). Same goes with the leading Likud Party, sometimes also regarded as MAHAL list becouse of its letters: Mem-Het-Lamed.
From the other hand, Shinui Party in not known as YESH (Yud-Shin) list but as "Shinui" and same goes about the MAFDAL which is not BET list.
The extreme case is SHAS which is publicly known only by its letters (Shin-Sameh) and almost never regarded by its official name.
Dov Gutterman, 10 June 2003

After series of wrong doings by parties, especially in with raising and using of funds, the Knesset enacted an act in 1992 that specify rules about what is right and what is wrong.
Since 1992, when registration become obligatory, 74 parties were registered. 2 already notify their disseverment so, today 72 parties are registered.
However, many of those parties exist only on paper or stopped any activity, and just didn't bother to dissolve officially. Only 37 parties in 31 lists take part in 2006 elections.
Dov Gutterman, 28 March 2006