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Israeli politics

3 December 2016

Politics in Israel differs from most Western democracies. One of the most important agenda items is the position you take as a political party in the Arab-Israeli conflict. Here is a brief explanation of Israeli politics and its different tendencies.

Left and right in Israeli politics

Left and right have a different meaning in Israeli politics than they have in most Western societies. Where some countries say that how a party thinks about the economy indicates their left or right position, in Israel, this relates to the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Left parties want to reach a peace agreement with the Palestinians as soon as possible. They are therefore in favor of the two-state solution. The right-wing parties, on the other hand, are reluctant to negotiate peace. The security of the State of Israel and its people is paramount to them. Far-right parties do not see any point in a two-state solution at all.

Judaism and legislation

In addition to the left-right divide, there is a difference in the extent to which religious Judaism should influence legislation. There is a distinction between secular and more orthodox parties. Secular parties want Judaism to play only a minor role, while the Orthodox parties believe that religion and state should be equal. Therefore, there is often a difference of opinion about matters such as the Shabbat, civil marriage, and gay rights.

Political parties

There are several political parties in Israel. There is, for example, the famous centrist party Kadima. This party, founded by Ariel Sharon, aims to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Another well-known party is Likud. This party has been the ruling party without interruption since 2009.

Benjamin Netanyahu has been the leader of the Likud Party for decades. He was the party leader from 1993 to 1999 and has been again since 2009.