All the Candidates Running in Israel’s September Do-over Election

Since the election in April, which saw parties like the Joint List and Habayit Hayehudi break down into factions, the September 17 repeat election seems to be having the opposite effect. Like-minded parties are forging alliances and merging with ideological allies, on the right and left alike.  

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While most of the parties' lists have remained mostly the same between the two elections, there have been some notable surprises: Ehud Barak's return to politics and merger with Meretz and Labor's Stav Shaffir, Labor's union with the center-right Gesher party and Kahanist Otzma Yehudit deciding to run alone, among others. 


Likud champions tough security policies when it comes to Iran, Syria and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Many of its members oppose the creation of a Palestinian state. Benjamin Netanyahu, in a last-minute election promise, said he would annex Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank if he wins another term. Likud has rallied around Netanyahu, who is facing possible indictment in three corruption cases in which he has denied any wrongdoing. The party absorbed Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon's socio-economically-minded Kulanu party. 

1 Benjamin Netanyahu

2 Yuli Edelstein

3 Yisrael Katz

4 Gilad Erdan

5 Moshe Kahlon

6 Gideon Sa'ar

7 Miri Regev

8 Yariv Levin

9 Yoav Gallant

10 Nir Barkat

11 Gila Gamliel

12 Avi Dichter

13 Zeev Elkin

14 Haim Katz

15 Eli Cohen

16 Tzachi Hanegbi

17 Ofir Akunis

18 Yuval Steinitz

19 Tzipi Hotovely

20 David Amsalem

21 Amir Ohana

22 Ofir Katz

23 Eti Atiya

24 Yoav Kish

25 David Bitan

26 Keren Barak

27 Shlomo Karhi

28 Miki Zohar

29 Ifat Shasha-Biton

30 Sharren Haskel

31 Michal Shir

32 Kathy Sheetrit

33 Patin Mula

34 May Golan

35 Tali Ploskov

36 Uzi Dayan

37 Ariel Kallner

38 Osnat Mark

39 Amit Halevy

40 Nissim Vaturi

41 Shevach Stern

42 Ayoub Kara

43 Moti Yogev

44 Yehuda Glick

45 Nurit Koren


Former military chief Gantz emerged last election as a serious rival to Netanyahu. Gantz, a popular former IDF chief of staff and political newcomer, 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. Many predicted that the three-way marriage wouldn’t last past the April election, but the parties are still together, surviving rumblings of dissatisfaction about the rotation arrangement in which Gantz and Lapid would each serve as prime minister for two years. Gantz has called for pursuing peace with the Palestinians while maintaining Israeli security interests. He has signalled he would make territorial concessions toward the Palestinians but has also sidestepped the question of Palestinian statehood. 

1 Benny Gantz

2 Yair Lapid

3 Moshe Ya'alon

4 Gabi Ashkenazi

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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-Shata

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 Gadi Yevarkan

34 Idan Roll

35 Yorai Lahav Hertzanu


The newly formed United Right slate is essentially a restoration of the alliance Ayelet Shaked helped dismantle, with disastrous results, after she and Naftali Bennett broke away to form Hayamin Hehadash last December (Their new party failed to cross the electoral threshold). After a weak showing in the election, the religious parties they left behind — Habayit Hayehudi and Bezalel Smotrich's National Union, realized that the whole of the “right of Netanyahu” camp is greater than the sum of its parts, and have fallen in line behind Shaked — to the astonishment of men who did not believe male Orthodox political leaders could ever bow to the leadership of a secular woman.

1 Ayelet Shaked 

2 Rafi Peretz

3 Bezalel Smotrich

4 Naftali Bennett

5 Moti Yogev

6 Ofir Sofer

7 Matan Kahana

8 Idit Salman

9 Roni Sassover

10 Orit Strok

11 Shai Maimon

12 Shuli Moalem-Refaeli

13 Eli Ben-Dahan

14 Yossi Cohen

15 Shirley Pinto


After a powerful debut showing in the 2015 election, in which it won an impressive 13 seats, the alliance of four predominantly Arab parties broke into two separate slates for the April race — and the results were bad. Now they're back, with the socialist Jewish-Arab Hadash-Ta'al party and Arab nationalist and Islamist United Arab List-Balad linking up once again. Disheartened and unhappy with the Joint List’s ugly breakup earlier this year, voter turnout in the Arab community dropped dramatically — from 63 percent down to just 50 percent. The slate’s leader, Ayman Odeh, has expressed hope that the move will help “overthrow the right-wing government,” as well as “preventing racism, annexation and the destruction of democracy.” Arab parties have never joined governing coalitions in Israel.

1 Ayman Odeh

2 Mtanes Shehadeh

3 Ahmad Tibi

4 Mansour Abbas

5 Aida Touma-Sliman

6 Walid Taha

7 Ofer Cassif

8 Hiba Yazbek

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, played his political cards cleverly when he refused to join Netanyahu’s coalition after April’s election, thus triggering the September ballot. His refusal to budge on drafting the ultra-Orthodox to the IDF was a popular move with right-wing voters, pushing him ahead in the polls. The former defense minister's policies include trading Arab towns in Israel to any future Palestinian state for territory in the West Bank where Jewish settlements have been built.  The right-wing party counts on the support of immigrants from the former Soviet Union. 

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 Friedman

13 David Davidian

14 Shahar Alon

15 Ilana Kartish


This new center-left joint slate is one of the election's surprise alliances. There had been talks of a Labor-Meretz merger, but these rumors were disrupted when former prime minister Ehud Barak thundered back onto the political scene in May. Barak was joined by the left-wing Zionist Meretz party and renegade Labor lawmaker Stav Shaffir, who expected other Labor members to jump ship alongside her (they didn't). Barak, marred by his connections to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, forfeited a leadership role in the party, placing himself low on the party's slate – some polls project that he may not enter the Knesset at all.

1 Nitzan Horowitz

2 Stav Shaffir

3 Yair Golan

4 Tamar Zandberg

5 Ilan Gilon

6 Esawi Freige

7 Ifat Biton

8 Yael Cohen-Paran

9 Noa Rotman

10 Ehud Barak

11 Gilad Kariv

12 Mossi Raz

13 Michal Rozin 

14 Yaya Fink

15 Smadar Shmueli

16 Zeinab Abu Sweid

17 Malka Armon

18 Avi Buskila

19 Gaby Lasky

20 Ali Salalha


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 Oriel Bosso


After Labor's weak performance in the previous election, the historic social-democratic party ousted leader Avi Gabbay and reinstated former leader Amir Peretz. This has not significantly helped the party's downward slope in popularity, nor did its refusal to join in an alliance with Meretz or Ehud Barak's party. Peretz's link-up with Orli Levi-Abekasis' center-right Gesher party, which failed to cross the electoral threshold in April also marred its chances, as did the exit of two of the party's most influential members: Stav Shaffir, who left for the new Democratic Union party, and Shelly Yacimovich, who is taking a break from politics. 

1 Amir Peretz

2 Orli Levi-Abekasis

3 Itzik Shmuli

4 Meirav Michaeli

5 Omer Bar Lev

6 Revital Swid

7 Haggai Reznik

8 Eran Hermoni

9 Saad Saleh

10 Carmen Elmakayes-Amos


The extreme-right Kahanist party ran in the last election at the behest of Netanyahu as part of the Union of Right-Wing Parties, led by Ben-Gvir after its leader, Michael Ben Ari was barred from running by the Supreme Court due to his history of racist, anti-Arab statements. The party, which was widely denounced within Israel and by Jewish leaders internationally, Otzma Yehudit, which means "Jewish Strength," is the spiritual successor of parties that had been previously banned from Knesset due to racism and incitement. It was expected to run with the nationalist ultra-Orthodox Noam party, which is campaigning on an anti-LGBT platform, but the parties ultimately decided they would run separately.  

1 Itamar Ben-Gvir 

2 Baruch Marzel

3 Adva Biton

4 Yitzhak Wasserlauf

5 Benzi Gopstein


The far-right, quasi-libertarian party was initially branded as the last election's dark horse and likely kingmaker before failing to pass the electoral threshold. The pro-marijuana, pro-annexation, free-market party aspires to build the Third Temple and turn the IDF into a volunteer force. 

1 Moshe Feiglin

2 Gilad Alper

3 Ronit Dror

4 Arkady Mutar