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Well-known member
Won't have time to finish this so I'm just dumping it here.

Upcoming election rundown.

Leading Parties:


Yesh Atid:

New Hope:


Joint List:

Hadash, Taal, and Balad, having expelled Ra'am for its willingness to work with Netanyahu, refounded the Joint List (including the branding derived from Raam, which seems a bit off). Suffering from the expected return to low turnout in the Arab sector after the record highs last time failed to result in any change. Also having difficulty with the split over LGBT issues between progressive Hadash and the others representing highly conservative societal norms.



Haredi society was hit hard by Corona, but there is nonetheless a widespread attitude that lockdowns are an anti-Haredi conspiracy. The party representatives were ...unable to reject this opinion, not that that protects them from the constituents' rage. Right now they're losing their minds over court rulings on non-orthodox conversion, which is the sort of thing that could push them all together.


Israel Beitenu:

At risk of the electoral threshold:

Religious Zionism:

Smotrich's project for the hard right to take over the heart of the religious mainstream hit a bump when he was left aligned only with the even further right (Noam and the Kahanist Otzma). Nonetheless he's sticking with the rebrand and pretending they have nothing to do with him. He recently blew up Twitter with an election promise to "deal with late bachelorhood".

Labour under Merav stole their clothes with an equally radical list. As in 2019a they're hoping for Arab voters since there are 2 Arabs in the top 5 candidates, which makes it a bad sign that they've only just launched an Arabic-language campaign. With that in mind, last week saw the first ever poll to have Meretz under the threshold, though I'd be surprised if they don't pull it off with a classic "you'd be sad if we lost" campaign.

The real mystery here is that most polls don't show them under the threshold. Ganz is trading on three things: Firstly the (untested) legal theory that he must be returned to the Knesset to restrain Bibi. Secondly that his party is more authentically representative of some old-Labour mainstays: pensioners, ex-officers, Kibbutzniks, and the liberal end of religious Zionism. Third and most important - vast campaign funds for his friends to funnel away.

TBH I have no idea what they're up to. I do try to follow Arabic-language news but they barely show up. As befits an Islamist movement, presumbly they have their own media. Facebook is super active though - I like that they have short introduction videos for all the candidates (wearing matching green ties (y)).


New Economic Party:

Not a totally fair categorisation since polls have them close to passing. Zelicha appears deeply commited to frustrating me by not releasing his supposed revolutionary plans for the economy. Like, dude, that's your only selling point.

A revival of the Arab Democratic Party (which still has representatives in local government). The agenda seems quite generic, no real distinction from the Joint List. A lot of polls have it around 2% tied with Raam (but everyone knows they suck at sampling minorities).

Am Shalem:
Amsalem last ran in 2019a as part of Zehut, after passing through Likud and Jewish Home, now he's reviving his 2013 party that split off Shas. The agenda of Haredi integration is more relevant than ever but no more popular.

Rapeh (Heal):
This is just a straight-up antivax party. The leader is a doctor who just lost his medical license for faking vaccination certificates. I can only hope they're prevented from using their PPB to spread this poison further.

I find this party's recent trajectory quite interesting. They've been trying to get back in the game ever since Raful resigned twenty years ago, with a variety of gimmicks. In 2019b they had a decent result running as the farmers' party - however their success was confined to Moshavs. Now they've refined the message with new Arab and Kibbutznik candidates, which I think could boost them significantly. Also joining the list is Benjamin Unger, he of "buying a party from the wrong owner" fame.

Dropped out:

The Democratic Party
, formed by leaders of the anti-Netanyahu protests, is out. Technically the decision must still be approved by a vote among members, but considering how highly curated the "chosen by primary" candidate list was, that's unlikely to pose an obstacle. This comes after a quarter of the candidates resigned and no poll had them hitting even 0.5%.

Jewish Home leader Hagit Moshe, who was elected on the promise of merging the various parties of Religious Zionism, blew up negotiations with Smotrich over his demand to merge their two parties. After floating an independent run, she ended up signing an agreement to back Yemina: they get to use "ב", historic symbol of the Mafdal/Jewish Home in exchange for Moshe becoming a minister in a Bennet-led government. Not 15 minutes later, she gave an interview in which she spoke about how much she wants Netanyahu to lead the government.

Israelis, the alleged party led by Ron Huldai, abandoned its efforts on List Submission Day. My post-mortem: Huldai stepped into the gap briefly left by Labour's convalecence, but didn't put in the effort required to stay there. Unwilling to risk his position as mayor, he didn't commit to the national election, and thus had an easy out when Merav surpassed him.

The Veterans' Party was a rather strange episode. I suppose it was also an attempt to claim the Labour space. With all the excitement one might forget it's such a small space.

Tnufa, founded by Ofer Shelah on the encouragement of like two Haaretz editorials, never took off and was reduced to begging other parties for an alliance. Ironically, although he ostensibly left Yesh Atid over the lack of primary elections, Shelah did not run for a spot on Labour's list but asked Merav to appoint him. Apparently she was willing to offer him a place on the list, but on the condition that he join the party as an individual which he refused.

Telem similarly lost out over Bogi's strange insistence on preserving a seperate party despite having no voters. Lapid rightly figured that having an IDF Chief of Staff on hand would be a boost, but not one worth undermining his own whip for.

Gesher and Kulanu I mention here because both parties currently have representation in the Knesset, but won't after the election. Orly Levy of Gesher recieved a place on the Likud list as a sort of signal that defectors will be rewarded; while Yifat Shasha, last rep from Kulanu who gained fame as chair of the parliamentary commitee on coronavirus, became deputy head of New Hope.

Notes from List Submission Day, or The Microparties:

The Pirate Party holds a special place in my heart because they are the only ones looking out for the microparty interest. In addition to the internationally-standard platform for digital freedom, they call for the Knesset to be expanded and the electoral threshold removed, allowing representation for more parties. After the 2019a election they tried to organise a second parliament comprising representatives of all parties under the threshold, but it didn't catch on.

At first the Pirates complained that they couldn't submit a list because the leader lives in New York and the airport is closed. This was clearly an attention-grabbing stunt because he can just grant anyone power of attorney in his stead, and indeed they did submit a list.

Anyone? Yes, anyone. Some random student submitted a list for Hetz, and was unable to explain what the party is. Hetz (an acronym for Secular Zionist) was the party Tommy Lapid founded in 2006 when he lost control of Shinui. It was also intended to be the legal platform for Huldai's "Israelis" party, and the list members all seem to be members of Huldai's faction in the Tel Aviv council. Possibly party members who disagreed with his decision to withdraw? 👏 for the Continuity Liberals of a party that never really existed.

I mentioned once that there is in fact a party legally named Israelis. The man who submitted their list, before any mention of policies, was very insistent that no-one else be allowed to use that name (before Huldai officially dropped out). In service of this troll move, he was among the first to show up, and snatched up the much coveted symbol "ז".

"כך", symbol of Meir Kahane back in the day, was claimed by the Me And You Party, as a protest against Kahanists being allowed to run. This party, which ran in all three previous elections, stands for a constitution and for electoral reform.

There seems to be quite a consensus on electoral reform - Me And You, Israelis, and also the Us Together Party all call for the same kind of reform. A Knesset of the same size or smaller; elected by MMP in regions; overseeing a technocratic government.

New Order differs from them in proposing a pure FPTP system. They first ran in 2019b, at which point they had 32 candidates, making them the biggest among microparties. In 2020 there were 18, and now they're down to 7. The party is clearly showing its age.

New World is this round's biggest microparty, with 40 candidates (initially 50 but they leave quick) and a pre-written speech. That may seem elementary but few of the others realised they'd have the opportunity for a televised speech. It lays claim to the heritage of the 2006 pensioners' party Gil - indeed, one of the surviving Gil representatives has the symbolic last place on New World's list. In addition to pensioners, it seeks to represent all underprivileged groups.

A different party for the underprivileged, which ran in 2019b under the name "Our Rights In Our Voice" and in 2020 as "The Israelist" suffered a split. The pensioners' representatives from the old party took legal control and submitted a list called The Social Big Bang.

Nevertheless, the split was clearly not acrimonious, seeing as the Israelist's legal counsel submitted both factions' lists. The other being Voice, a party representing parents of special-needs children. Voice is led by the old party leader's ex-husband, who was included on her list both previous times. It's nice that they can have such a good relationship despite a divorce.

Speaking of keeping it in the family, Da'am, when it split from Hadash in 1995 was hailed as the great hope of communists in Israel. As time went on, though affiliated to an independent trade union, it has become dominated by members of one extended family.

The family of Yigal Amir, who assassinated Rabin, registered the Fair Trial party as part of their efforts to free him. They maintain an ambiguous line, flitting between "he's innocent", "he was right to do it", and "he didn't have a fair hearing whether or not he did it". Seems like it would be simpler just to say they want him free because he's family.

I know I already used "family" as a transition twice but I can't pass this up. The wives of jailed cult leader Ambash once more registered their party Kama (Advancement of Individual Rights). During their speech, just when they got to a bit railing against journalists who selectively quoted them, the camera cut away, which is A+.

For those who want to advance individual rights but without the cult stuff, B'Atzmenu is a libertarian party (okay, maybe some cult stuff) led by Zehut's former #2 and a guy who got into politics because he runs an advertising company and figured that propaganda is an easy gig. They are pushing the "small businessmen" line in an attempt to ride the wave of anger at the economic impact of lockdowns.

Hope For Change is marketing itself as a party for small business owners, but specifically in the Arab sector. This is actually the fifth time the party is running, each time with a different leader but sticking to a fairly consistent line of liberal integration.

With the consistency but without the line, Social Leadership With Ilan Meshiha Yar-Zanbar is running for the sixth time straight. Yar-Zanbar told the committee that his previous runs were for practice, but now he fully understands the political system and is ready to be elected this time.

Human Dignity is running for the fourth time straight, having narrowly missed out on the coveted last place. To find out what they stand for, I'd probably have to read Russian-language pashkevils in Netanya. Failing that, all I can gather is that this is a religious party.

Jewish Heart is a protest party against weapon trading. It is in many ways heir to Meimad, former party of the religious left.

As for the religious right, there are many many microparties registered, but Shema is the one that took the plunge.

The Bible Bloc expects the West to plunge into Eurabian apocalypse any day now, and therefore seeks to improve Jewish-Christian relations in anticipation of masses of Christians seeking refuge in Israel. The party members are an interesting mosaic of Messianics, Jehova's Witnesses, Dutch Evangelicals, and local converts to Evangelism. They claim to be the political home for Christians in Israel, while resolutely ignoring that the vast majority of such are Greek-Orthodox Palestinians who vote Joint List.

There is another party specifically for Christians, this one Arab-led. The commitee took issue with its name: The Joint Testament - For National Union as it rips off the names of two other parties. I think the fault is with the registrar who allowed Joint List and National Union as names to begin with.


Philip 'Al Capone' Proudfoot
Aberdeen, Scotland
I realised the other day the Israeli election had still not happened yet and just sighed deeply. Do they also feel this interminable if you live there?

New Economic Party:
Not a totally fair categorisation since polls have them close to passing. Zelicha appears deeply commited to frustrating me by not releasing his supposed revolutionary plans for the economy. Like, dude, that's your only selling point.
Whyyyyyyyyy is this a thing