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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

November 06, 2002

Latest Polls on Election

Number of seats, out of 120, each party predicted to win, with explanatory notes:


33 Likud (right; leadership contest between Sharon and Netanyahu)
8 National Union/Israel Beiteinu (often labelled "far right"; led by Avigdor Leiberman; includes Moledet, party of Rehavim Ze'evi, assassinated last year, now led by Benny Elon)
11 Shas (Sephardi and Orthodox, led by Eli Yishai, spiritual guidance from Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the former Sephardi chief rabbi)
5 National Religious Party ("dati leumi"--similar to American Modern Orthodox; led by war hero Effi Eitam, who participated in the raid on Entebbe)
5 Yisrael B'Aliyah (the Russian party, led by Natan Sharansky, former Soviet political prisoner, released and emigrated to Israel in 1986)
5 United Torah Judaism (Haredi, i.e.,"ultra-orthodox," altho' use of that term is strongly discouraged)



19 Labor (left; leadership contest among Ben-Elizer, Mitnza, and Ramon)
11 Arab parties--Hadash (Communist), United Arab List, National Arab Party, Ta-al (represented by Ahmed Tibi, advisor to Arafat); also Balad, formerly represented by Azmi Bishara, stripped of parliamentary immunity and soon to be on trial for inciting treason.
11 Shinui (bitterly anti-religous, led by Tommy Lapid)
9 Meretz (leftist, led by Yossi Sarid)
3 One Nation (party of the Histadrut, the labor union)


Several parties that are offshoots of others or revolve around individual personalities will likely not be represented b/c the member will not get reelected: Herut, Michael Kleiner's "far right" party; Gesher, the party of former foreign minister David Levy, a Sephardic offshoot of Likud; and the Democratic Change Movement, ultra-leftist offshoot from Yisrael B'Aliyah, led by Roman Bronfman. The Center Party's member, Nehama Ronen, will join Likud.
Thanks to my friend Avidog for advice on these notes.

The political landscape in Israel is pretty complicated, with many parties splitting, merging, resplitting, etc. over particular issues and personalities. Each party also has various factions revolving around personalities. A complete listing, with historical info is here