Israel Election 2020: All the Candidates Running in the March 2 Election

Apart from a historic merger on the left, not much has changed since the last election in September, which ended in deadlock

Counting ballots in the September 2019 election.
Olivier Fitoussi

Amid tense negotiations in Israel's far-right, parties filed their slates to the Central Election Committee on Wednesday night ahead of the country's March 2 election, presenting an overall electoral lanscape that remains broadly the same as the one in September.

The ideological condensing that began in September continued, with Israeli left-wingers hoping a merger between Labor and Meretz will boost their chances. Other alliances are holding, with fringe Kahanist party Otzma Yehudit finding itself out of the religious Zionist bloc.

LIKUD, HEADED BY PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU

Likud champions tough security policies when it comes to Iran, Syria and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Benjamin Netanyahu said during the campaign he would annex Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank if he wins another term. After a primary, Likud rallied around its leader, who was indicted in three corruption cases in which he has denied any wrongdoing.

Gadi Yevarkan, previously with Kahol Lavan, defected to Likud just before party lists were published.

Benjamin Netanyahu
2 Yuli Edelstein
3 Yisrael Katz
4 Gilad Erdan
5 Gideon Sa'ar
6 Miri Regev
7 Yariv Levin
8 Yoav Gallant
Nir Barkat
10 Gila Gamliel
11 Avi Dichter
12 Zeev Elkin
13 Haim Katz
14 Eli Cohen
15 Tzachi Hanegbi
16 Ofir Akunis
17 Yuval Steinitz
18 Tzipi Hotovely
19 David Amsalem
20 Gadi Yevarkan
21 Amir Ohana
22 Ofir Katz
23 Etty Atia
24 Yoav Kish
25 David Bitan
26 Keren Barak
27 Shlomo Karhi
28 Miki Zohar
29 Yifat Shasha-Biton
30 Sharren Haskel
31 Michal Shir
32 Keti Shitrit
33 Patin Mula
34 May Golan
35 Tali Ploskov
36 Uzi Dayan
37 Ariel Kallner
38 Osnat Mark
39 Amit Halevi
40 Nissim Vaturi

Likud slate.

KAHOL LAVAN, HEADED BY BENNY GANTZ

After two contests in a few months, former military chief Gantz has imposed himself as the only alternative to Netanyahu. Gantz, a popular former IDF chief of staff, joined forces with the right-wing Moshe Yaalon, a former defense minister, and center-left former finance minister Yair Lapid to form the centrist Kahol Lavan party. The slate's "cockpit" was rounded up with another former Israeli army chief of staff, Gabi Ashkenazi.

Many predicted that the three-way marriage wouldn’t last past the April election, but it held through difficult coalition talks after being given a shot at forming a government in October. Gantz has called for pursuing peace with the Palestinians while maintaining Israeli security interests.

The list has not changed from the September run - except for the loss of Gadi Yevarkan, who was replaced by former journalist Andrey Kozhinov, the party's Russian-language spokesperson. 

Benny Gantz
Yair Lapid
Moshe Ya'alon
Gabi Ashkenazi
Avi Nissenkorn
6 Meir Cohen
7 Miki Haimovich
8 Ofer Shelah
9 Yoaz Hendel
10 Orna Barbivai
11 Michael Biton
12 Chili Tropper
13 Yael German
14 Zvi Hauser
15 Orit Farkash-Hacohen
16 Karin Elharrar
17 Meirav Cohen
18 Yoel Razvozov
19 Asaf Zamir
20 Izhar Shay
21 Elazar Stern
22 Mickey Levy
23 Omer Yankelevich
24 Pnina Tamano
25 Gadeer Mreeh
26 Ram Ben Barak
27 Alon Shuster
28 Yoav Segalovitz
29 Ram Shefa
30 Boaz Toporovsky
31 Orly Fruman
32 Eitan Ginzburg
33 Andrey Kozhinov
34 Idan Roll
35 Yorai Lahav Hertzanu
36 Michal Cotler-Wunsh
37 Einav Kabala
38 Tehila Friedman
39 Hila Shay Vazan
40 Yael Ron Ben Moshe

Kahol Lavan slate.

YAMINA, HEADED BY NAFTALI BENNETT

Yamina (formerly United Right), the main religious-Zionist bloc, got seven seats in the September 2019 election, but was rocked by internal divisions, which put its united future in jeopardy. They announced in extremis they would run together again in March, leaving the controversial Kahanist faction Otzma Yehudit behind.

Former justice minister Ayelet Shaked led the slate in the last contest, but she was replaced by defence minister Naftali Bennett this time around.  

Naftali Bennett
Rafi Peretz
Bezalel Smotrich
4 Ayelet Shaked
5 Matan Kahana
6 Ofir Sofer
7 Idit Salman
8 Sara Beck
9 Shirley Pinto
10 Orit Strok
11 Motti Yegev
12 Shuli Moalem-Refaeli
13 Yossi Cohen
14 Shai Maimon
15 Eli Ben Dahan
16 Roni Sassover

Yamina slate.

THE JOINT LIST, HEADED BY AYMAN ODEH

The alliance of four predominantly Arab parties broke into two separate slates for the April race — and the results were bad. The September showing was much better with the band back together. Led by the socialist Jewish-Arab Hadash-Ta'al party, and its popular leader Ayman Odeh, it managed to boost Arab participation to pick up 15 seats, becoming the third largest party in the Knesset, and even calling for heading the opposition. Arab parties have never joined governing coalitions in Israel, but Odeh endorsed the idea of supporting Kahol Lavan in the Knesset in order to get rid of Netanyahu.

They're presenting an unchanged slate.

1 Ayman Odeh
Mtanes Shehadeh
Ahmad Tibi
4 Mansour Abbas
Aida Touma-Sliman
6 Walid Taha
Ofer Cassif
8 Heba Yazbak
9 Osama Saadi
10 Yousef Jabareen
11 Said al-Harumi
12 Jaber Asakila
13 Sami Abu Shehadeh
14 Sondos Saleh
15 Iman Khatib
16 Youssef Atauna

Joint List slate.

YISRAEL BEITEINU, HEADED BY AVIGDOR LIEBERMAN

Yisrael Beiteinu's leader, Moldovan-born Lieberman is regularly portrayed as Israel's kingmaker. His refusal to join Netanyahu’s coalition after April’s election triggered the September ballot; the inability of both Likud and Kahol Lavan to attract him to their side made this new contest impossible to avoid.

Lieberman has the crucial support of Israel's sizeable Russian-speaking population, and staunch, secular right-wing positions that put him at odds with both religious parties and the left-wing of Israeli politics.

Former IDF foreign press spokesperson and Jewish Agency director Olivier Rafowicz joins the slate at the 15th spot. 

Avigdor Lieberman
2 Oded Forer
3 Evgeny Sova
4 Eli Avidar
5 Yulia Malinovsky
6 Hamad Amar
7 Alex Kushnir
8 Mark Ifraimov
9 Limor Magen-Telem
10 Elina Bardach-Yalov
11 Shadi Halul
12 Alex Fridman
13 David Davidyan
14 Shahar Alon
15 Olivier Rafowicz

Yisrael Beiteinu slate.

LABOR-GESHER-MERETZ, HEADED BY AMIR PERETZ

In an effort to regain voters' favors, Labor, a dying powerhouse of Israeli politics, and it's junior partner, Orli Levi-Abekasis' Gesher party, united with Meretz. 

The list is a mix of both lawmakers, with two big surprises: Arab candidates, which were a major part of Meretz's ability to edge past the electoral threshold in September, were shunned; and popular rising star Stav Shaffir, formerly of Labor, and who joined an alliance with Meretz in April, was removed altogether. 

1 Amir Peretz
Orli Levi-Abekasis
Nitzan Horowitz
4 Tamar Zandberg
Itzik Shmuli
6 Merav Michaeli
7 Yair Golan
8 Ilan Gilon
9 Omer Bar-Lev
10 Revital Swid
11 Esawi Freige
12 Haggai Reznik
13 Eran Hermoni
14 Mossi Raz
15 Emilie Moatti

Labor-Gesher-Meretz slate.

UNITED TORAH JUDAISM, HEADED BY DEPUTY HEALTH MINISTER YAAKOV LITZMAN

United Torah Judaism represents ultra-Orthodox Jews, or Haredim, of European origin. Successive coalition governments have had to rely on support from ultra-Orthodox parties, which traditionally put their sectoral demands above larger issues like security and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. UTJ is primarily concerned with safeguarding state benefits for Haredi men who devote themselves to full-time religious study and do not serve in the conscript military or work.

1 Yaakov Litzman
2 Moshe Gafni
3 Meir Porush
4 Uri Maklev
5 Yaakov Tessler
6 Yakov Asher
7 Israel Eichler
8 Yitzhak Pindrus
9 Eliyahu Hasid
10 Eilyahu Baruchi

UTJ slate.

SHAS, HEADED BY INTERIOR MINISTER ARYE DERY

Allied with UTJ,  Shas (an acronym for Union of Sephardic Torah Observers) has like UTJ been an almost permanent fixture in successive governments and represents Haredi Jews of Middle Eastern origin. Its chairman Arye Deri, has previously served two years in prison for bribery.

1 Arye Dery
2 Yitzhak Cohen
3 Meshulam Nahari
4 Yaakov Margi
5 Yoav Ben Tzur
6 Michael Malkieli
7 Moshe Arbel
8 Yinon Azoulay
9 Moshe Abutbul
10 Uriel Busso

Shas slate.