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

Apart from a historic merger on the left, nothing much has changed since the last election in September, which ended in deadlock

ספירת קולות בבחירות בספטמבר
אוליבייה פיטוסי

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 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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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