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General Elections of 2006 (Israel)

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Participating Lists:


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General Elections of 2006

General elections for the 17th Knesset were held on 28 March 2006. No less then 31 lists were approved by the Central Elections Committee (web site at <www.knesset.gov.il>) and ran for the 120 seats of the Knesset. One of those informed the media that it withdraw from the race, but failed to inform the Central Elections Committee on time, so their voting cards appeared at the polls on election day.
A list can be submitted only by party or group of parties that were registered by the Parties' Registrar (web site at <www.justice.gov.il>)
The process of voting is done by inserting a voting card that include prominent letters (1-3 letters that can be only in Hebrew or in both Hebrew and Arabic) which represent the list, inside an envelope and afterwards by inserting the envelope into the ballot box. The list's letters are assigned by the Central Elections Committee. However, list that was represented in the previous Knesset can retain its previous letters. Usually, the lists are trying to get letters that has some meaning in Hebrew and occasionally those letters became the popular name of the list or the party (i.e MERETZ, SHAS etc.)
The fact that a list must have at least 2% of the votes to get seats in the Knesset is making the race unfruitful for many of the list. However, surprises do happened, and the success of "GIL" in this election is going to feed the hopes of those "small" list for years to come.
A novelty in 2006 election was also the creation of a brand new party, Kadima, which not only got seats, but took the elections and became the major force in the new coalition. 
2006 elections were ,in general, quite and uneventful. It seems that that the foundation of Kadima and its expected win took out the tuemoil seen in previous election due to the bitter rivalry of Avoda v. Likud. This brought to the lowest ever rate of voting of only 63.2%.
The raise of the blocking percentage to 2% in order to avoid "single-seat" parties was a success in this matter, but the expected side affect of reducing the number of list was not achieved, and the success of GIL who got 6 seats with minimal propaganda and expanses will make sure that many of those tiny and esoteric list will rn for next elections too.
It seems that there is nothing genuine in the logos and flags. Many lists use Magen David and/or blue-white colors in their symbols as a "proof" of being "Zionists". Many symbols are made of only stylized party name.
In general, no party symbol or flag show any inspiration or unique design and seems that the main object is promotion and not the artistic or vexillological value.

Final results are
Kadima - 29 seats
HaAvoda - 20
Shas - 12
HaLikud - 12
Yisrael Betenu - 11
Ihud Leumi-Mafdal - 9
Gil - 7
Yahadut HaTorah - 6
Meretz - 5
Hadash - 3
Raam-Taal- 3
Balad - 3

The order of lists is according to Hebrew alphabet:

 1) Ikhud Le'umi - Mafdal

 This is a union that was announced on 8 February 2006 between two lists of the 16th Knesset. The official name of the united list is: Ikhud Leumi - Mafdal - Reshima Yehudit Le'umit Me'uhedet (National Union - Mafdal - United National Jewish List) and its letters are Tet-Bet. The list is right wing list of religious Zionists and is led by Rabbi Benyamin Alon.
The main goals of the list are: Concentrating in Jewish education and keeping the Jewish character of Israel and preventing the evacuation of settlements.
Both ingredients kept using their previous symbols.
The two list parties had, together, 11 seats in the 16th Knesset and was expect to become a major power as the representatives of the anti-evacuation right wing but took a blow and got only 9 seats in 2006 and are in the opposition. Only days will say if this ad-hoc union will continue.

For more details on the parties, see Ikhud Leumi and Mafdal Party

2) Balad

See: Balad Party

3) Brit Olam

Brit Olam (Global Convant) - This is the list as well the party official names. The party was founded in 2005 and it is considered as left-wing party. It is led by Ofer Lifsitz and its agenda is: Only real equality to all the citizens will bring true peace. It used the letter he.
The party got neither flag nor logo. In their TV promotions they use a logo of a hand with the thumb and index fingers raised (in shape of V with one hand longer then other).
It got only 2011 votes.

4) Gil


image by Željko Heimer

 This party is the biggest surprise of the 2006 elections. GIL (which means age but also joy) are the initials of the list and party whose full name is GIL - Gimlae Yisrael LaKnesstet (Israel Pensioners for the Knesset).It was assigned with the letters Zayn-suffix Kaf (making it Zakh = Pure). It is led by Rafi Eytan.
Its main goal is advancing the rights of the pensioners and raise of National Security payments.
The party got no flag. It uses a logo: Party name in green with prominent "GIL" charged with orange 'comet' whose head is shaped as a star.
There were pensioners parties in the past with no success. However, this new party, running for the first time, got no less the 7 seats and join the coalition. Web site at <www.gil.org.il>.

5) Da'am

See: Da'am Party

6) HaYerukim

The list of HaYerukim LeIkhut HaHayim VeHaSviva BeYisrael (The Greens for Life and Environment Quality in Israel) was submitted by a party with the same name and it was assigned by the letters Resh-Kuf (making it Rak=only). It is led by Peer Weisner.
As suggested by its name, the party goal is to raise the environment protection into the top of Israel priorities.
The party was founded in 1997 and has some success in municipal elections, but two previous attempts to get a seat in the Knesset were failed.
Their logo is explained by them as follows: The sunflower represents the sun, the central source of energy in the globe. The use of non-contaminating sources of energy such as solar energy is the goal of all green parties in the world. The walking man is taken from the traffic lights and tells us to go forward. The man is in the center and should live in harmony with nature in order to create a prospering and clean society. The slogan is: The greens protect the land.
No flag is seen in use, but if exist it is probably a logo on white.
They got impressive 46,595 votes making them the biggest of the parties that failed to get a seat.
Source: Party Web site

7) HaLikud

See: Likud Party

8) HaMiflaga HaLeumit HaAravit

The list of HaMiflaga HaLeumit HaAravit BeRashut Muhamad Kena'an (The Arabic National Party led by Muhamad Kena'an) was submitted by HaMiflaga HaLeumit HaAravit - Al-Hezb Al-Qaumi Al-Arabi (same meaning in both languages). It was assigned by the letters kuf-pe which appear in both languages on its card. It was founded after 2000 elections when it was split from RA'AM and failed in 2003 elections.
The party agenda is to focus more in the economical problem of the Arabs in Israel and let the Palestinians take care on their owns.
The party got no logo and no flag.
Few days prior to the election, this party announced its withdrawal from the race. It was too late for party's cards to be removed from ballot stations and it got 738 votes.

9) HaLev

HaLev (The Heart) are the initials of Miflaga LeMilhama BaBankim (Party for Fighting the Banks). It is a new name for the list of the "Mifleget HaHityashvut" (Settling Party). It is led by Eli'ezer Levinger and its letters are "Pe-suffixTzadi".
Mifleget HaHityashvut was founded in 1996 in order to represent the members of the rural settlements (Kibbutz's and Moshav's) following their financial problems. Shortly afterwards it ceased from exist but was re-established under new name in 2006. Web site at Website: <www.kesef.org>.
Their goal as suggested by their name is to minimize the damage that is inflicted by the banks etc. (10)
The party got no logo and no flag and got only 2163 votes.

10) HaAvoda

See: Labour Party (Mifleget HaAvoda)

11) HaZionut HaHadasha


image by Željko Heimer

"The New Zionism" list of the HaZionut HaHadasha - Mifleget HaAm (New Zionism - Peoples' Party) is led by Ya'aqov Kfir and was assigned by the letters tzadi-he. It was founded in 2006 and is focusing in the improvement of welfare payments for the holocaust survivors.
The party got no flag but it use a logo showing a Magen David held by two lions and a flame above it.
It got only 1278 votes in the elections. 

12) Hadash

See: Hadash Party

13) Hayil


image by Željko Heimer

Hayil (Force) are the initials of Hazit Yehudit Leumit BeRerashut Benyamin Marzel (National Jewish Front led by Benyamin Marzel). Hayil is the right-most party and it sees itself as the successors of Rabbi Kahana movement. However, they had to softened Rabbi Kahana's agenda in order not to be disqualified. They are asked and received the letter kaf , probably to follow Kahana's Kaf-suffixKaf. Web site at <www.hazit.co.il>.
Party logo is stylized half Magen David with party name. It is also appears on white flags as seen here.
Hayil got only about 25,000 votes, a result that kept them out of the Knesset.

14) Hetz


image by Željko Heimer

Hetz (Arrow) list is officially named Hetz - Tnu'a Hilonit Zionit BeRashut Avraham Poraz (Zionist Secular Movement led by Avraham Poraz) was founded in 2006 by most of former Shinui's Knesset members, who retired from this party following Poraz's defeat at the internal elections. Hetz was assigned by the letters Het-suffixTzadi (making it Hetz) and is considered by its founders as the real successor of Shinui and is maintaining its anti-religious campaign. It is also supported by former Shinui's leader Yosef (Tomi) Lapid, who retired from public life.
Poraz was in no. 2 spot at Shinui and served as the Minister of the Interior when Shinui was part of the government.
The party's logo include the slogan Hetz Hiloni LaKnesset (Secular Arrow for the Knesset) in blue with red arrow cut the word HETZ. It got no flag, per se, but it uses a car flag with this logo, Poraz photo and a voting card. Web site at <www.hetz.org.il>
HETZ got only about 10,000 votes and no seats. Their only comfort is that they got more votes then Shinui.

15) Herut

See: Herut Movement

16) Yahadut HaTorah

Yahadut Hatorah VeHaShabat - Agudat Yisrael - Degel Hatorah (Torah and Sabbath Judaism - Israel Society - Flag of Torah) is an orthodox religious list submitted by two parties:
1) Agudat Israel - Histadrut Agudat Israel BeEretz Yisrael (Israel Society Federation in Israel Land). Usually known as Agoy or Aguda, it was founded in Katowitz, Poland in 1912. It represents the Hasidic stream of orthodox Judaism. The party is active since 1949 and ran for all campaigns, either separately or joined in "orthodox" union with other parties.
2) Agudat HaHaredim - Degel HaTorah was founded in 1998 to represent the "Lithuanian" stream of Orthodox Judaism.
Since 1992, both parties ran in joined list, now led by Ya'aqov Litzman. It had 5 seats in 2003 elections and got 6 seats in 2006 and is a part of the coalition.
As an orthodox religious party it has no logo, no flag and no website and their only distinctive mark is the letter gimel.

17) Yisrael Betenu

See: Yisrael Betenu

18) Lev

Lev (Heart) is a list submitted by Lev - Olim LeMa'an Yisrael (Heart - New Immigrants For Israel). It was founded in 1999 but failed in 2000 election. It didn't ran in 2003 and now tried again, led by Ovadya Petahov with the letters pe-zayin (Paz = Gold). Lev wants to represent the new immigrants from the Asian republics of the former USSR
The party got no logo, no flag and no website. It got only 1,765 votes.

19) Lehem


image from <www.planetnana.co.il/lehem>

Lehem (Bread) was submitted by Lohame Hevra Me'uhadim (United Social Fighters). Obviously the initials came before the official name as its leader, Yisrael Tuito, a former Likud activist that lost his home following the economical depression, became famous at his protest for the needy at "Kikar HaMedina" (The State Square) in Tel-Aviv which was "renamed" by him into "Kikar HaLehem" (The Bread Square). It was assigned with the letter zayin.
The party wishes to represent the needy and homeless and to fight corruption. Web site:at <www.planetnana.co.il/lehem>.
Party logo is bold Lehem with the center of the mem styled as Magen David . No flag is in use.
It got only 1,381 votes

20) Lider

Lider, who got the lowest vote count in 2003 elections, is running again with Alexander Radko in lead and suffixPe as letter. Lider list was submitted by Miflaga Mitkademet Liberalit Demokratit (Liberal Democratic Progressive party). It is a party of new immigrants from former USSR that live in the city of Ashdod.
There is no much to say about this party whose promotions showed only its leader speaking in Russian. There is probably no logo, no flag, no website. 
Following its "tradition" the party lost about 200 of its followers and was down to 580 votes taking the last place (even less then a party that announce its withdrawal prior to the elections)

21) Meretz

See: Meretz Party

22) Oz LaAniyim

Oz LaAniyim (Strength for the poor) list got the letters pe-kaf . This list was submitted by Otzma VeTiqva LaShkhunot (Power and Hope for the) and is led by Felix Engel. It was founded in 1999 by Shmuel Levi who put himself at the 21 and last spot in the list and who became famous by publishing an ad in the media asking for people who wish to became candidates.
It uses a logo made of two V's (upwards and downwards) in blue and white with list name above and party name below. No flag is used.
Only 1214 votes were given to this list.

23) Ale Yarok

See: Green Leaf Party

24) Atid Ehad


image by Željko Heimer

Atid Ehad - Atid Tov LeYisrael (One Future - Good Future for Israel) list is led by Avraham Nagosa and was submitted by party with the same name. It was assigned by the letters zayin-he. Atid Ehad was founded in order to represent the new immigrants from Ethiopia. Web site at <atidechad.org>.
The party doesn't have logo (besides using the party name nor flag. However it adopted the purple and blue colors and got car flags with slogan, leader photo, party name and voting card (all in one small car flag!!!) which use those colors.
It got about 14,000 votes which are far from enough for a seat.

25) Tzedek LaKol

Tzedek LaKol - Ra'ash (Justice for all - Ra'ash [the initials of Raayon HaShivion (Idea of Equality) which gives "loud noise"] ) list was submitted by Ra'ash - Zehuyot HaGever BaMishpaha (Man Rights in the Family) and is led by Yaaqov Shloser and assigned the letters kuf-zayin.
This party which advocates equality for men in divorce proceedings ran for the third time and this time also presents a right wing agenda. No logo, no flag. Web site at <www.zedeklacol.co.il>.
It improved from 1286 votes in 2003 into 3819 in 2006…...

26) Tzomet


image from <www.zomet.net> (defunct)

Tzomet (Crossroads) list was submitted by Tzomet - Hatnu'a LeZionut Mithadeshet (Movement for Renewal Zionism) and it was assigned with the letters Kaf-suffixTzadi. It is led by Moshe Green.
The original Tzomet was founded in 1983 by a former Chief of Staff and war hero Rephael Eytan (who was known as Raful) and it was a secular right wing party. In 1984 it ran together with HaTehiya in right-wing bloc but in 1987 split.
The party's glory days arrived in 1992 as it got 8 seats which brought Raful and seven new faces to the Knesset (nicknamed : "Raful and the seven dorfs").
In 1996 it ran together with HaLikud, but afterwards split and failed to get a seat in 2000, resulting Raful's retiring from political life.
The "new" Tzomet failed in 2003 and are trying again but got only 1342 votes.
Tzomet
logo is the party name with the mam shaped as triangle and upside-down triangle added to make it similar to Magen David . No flag is in use.

27) Kadima

See: Kadima Party

 28) Raam - Taal

HaReshima HaAravit Hame'ukhedet - HaTnu'a'a HaAravit LeHit'hadshut (United Arabic List - Arabic Movement For Renewal) list is led by Ibrahim Tzartzur and got the letters Ayin-suffixMem.
It is a joined list of two parties:
1) HaReshima HaAravit Hame'hu'edet was founded before 1996 elections and ran together with Mada - Miflaga Democratit Aravit (Arabic Democratic Party) which later dissolved into Raam.
2) HaTnu'ah HaAravit LeHit'hadshut was founded after 1999 elections by a single Knesset member that retired from Hadash. Web site at <www.a-m-c.org>
The joined list doesn't have logo or flag. It uses its letters (in Arabic) in black on yellow voting card charged on green background for promotion as sen at <www.al-arabeya.net>. Green flags with white slogans are also in use.

29) Shinui

See: Shinui Party

30) Shas

See: Shas Party

31) Tafnit


image from <www.tafnit.org>

Tafnit - BeRashut Uzi Dayan (Turn around - led by Uzi Dayan) is a new list submitted by Tafnit - Seder Yom Hadash LeYisrael (Turn around - New agenda for Israel) and was assigned with the letter pe.
Tafnit was founded in December 2005 by Uzi Dayan, former deputy chief of staff of the IDF and nephew of the legendary Moshe Dayan and is defined as central-wing party that will fight corruption.
Party logo is party name in white with the letter pe in green and a green-white Magen David. There is no known flag.
It got 18,753 votes. Web site at <www.tafnit.org>.

Dov Gutterman, 26 March and 7 June 2006