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

Israel election - Netanyahu vs. Gantz: The complete list of candidates and parties

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Counting ballots in the September 2019 election.
Counting ballots in the September 2019 election.Credit: 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 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.

    1 Benjamin Netanyahu
    2 Yuli Edelstein
    3 Yisrael Katz
    4 Gilad Erdan
    5 Gideon Sa'ar
    6 Miri Regev
    7 Yariv Levin
    8 Yoav Gallant
    9 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.

    1 Benny Gantz
    2 Yair Lapid
    3 Moshe Ya'alon
    4 Gabi Ashkenazi
    5 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.

    1 Naftali Bennett
    2 Rafi Peretz
    3 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
    2 Mtanes Shehadeh
    3 Ahmad Tibi
    4 Mansour Abbas
    5 Aida Touma-Sliman
    6 Walid Taha
    7 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.

    1 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
    2 Orli Levi-Abekasis
    3 Nitzan Horowitz
    4 Tamar Zandberg
    5 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

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