Israel's Cannabis Legalization Party and the Other Slates That Didn’t Make It

Over 174,000 Israelis cast their votes for parties that didn't pass the electoral threshold.

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Aleh Yarok activists.Credit: Moti Milrod

Over 174,000 Israelis cast their ballot on Tuesday for parties that didn’t get enough votes to make it into the Knesset, failng to make it over the electoral threshold of 3.25 percent. These votes, representing 4.41 percent of voters, add up to over five Knesset seats.

As of Wednesday, the party closest to making it into the Knesset among those now out of the game was the far-right Yahad, led by former Interior Minister Eli Yishai, with 2.98 percent of the votes (over 118,000 voters). 

A long way behind Yahad was Aleh Yarok, the party pushing for legalization of marijuana. This party picked up 0.97 percent of the votes (more than 38,000 voters). In the previous election, this party ran together with the New Liberal Movement and gleaned 1.15 percent of the votes (43,734).

Despite his disappointment with the outcome, Aleh Yarok chairman Oren Leibovitch told Haaretz, “the result is excellent considering the fact that the threshold to enter the Knesset was raised. Leibovitch dismissed the argument that the votes his party had gathered were thrown into the bin and said the movement’s last campaign was “the best we ever had, because we managed to revoke the stigma left by the previous elections.”

He said that due to his party’s campaign, Meretz promised its voters to act to legalize private use of marijuana “and now we can monitor their votes in the Knesset.”

Far behind Aleh Yarok came the Arab List (a rival party to the slate of mostly Arab parties that ran as the Joint List), founded by former MK Taleb a-Sana, who quit it before the election. The Arab List won 0.10 percent (more than 4,000 votes).

Next came the Green Party with 0.08 percent (more than 3,100 votes). In the previous election the Greens ran with the Young People’s Party and the two together garnered 0.21 percent (8,117 votes).

The ultra-Orthodox women’s party, Uvizchutan, which contended in the election for the first time, received 0.05 percent of the votes, while the Goldstein brothers from the Economics Party received 0.03 percent (more than 1,000 votes) – less than the 0.05 percent (1,972 votes) they received in the previous election.

Despite having withdrawn its candidacy last week, the Protecting Our Children Party received 58 votes. The Social Leadership list headed by Ilan Mashiha came last with 204 votes, compared to the 461 votes his party “Patriarchs’ Legacy” received in the previous election.

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