Israel's Political Parties

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Leftist Parties

Hadash is a Jewish-Arab party, founded in 1977 with Marxist roots, that strongly supports the creation of a fully independent Palestinian state. Beyond that, it actively supports worker rights and education and health care for all people in Israel.

Ra'am, a party founded in 1996 in support of a Palestinian state whose capital is in East Jerusalem, garners significant support from the Bedouin population.

Ta'al is a party founded by Ahmad Tibi, who had been a negotiator for Yasser Arafat before deciding to run for Knesset in 1999. It is a strong supporter of negotiations with the Palestinians, Lebanese, and Syrians, and respecting rights of Israeli Arabs.

Balad is an Arab nationalist party that believes in the two-state solution and an entirely non-sectarian Israel. It was founded in 1995 by a group of Israeli-Arab intellectuals led by Azmi Bishara. Though the Central Elections Committee regularly attempts to disqualify it for claimed connections with terrorist groups, it ran in 1999 in conjunction with Ta'al. It has since ran alone.

Meretz is a left-wing Zionist party founded in 1992 as a coalition of Shinui, Ratz, and Mapam. Though once a powerful party, it has lost support over recent years as the Israeli populate has shifted rightward. It backs the two-state solution of the Geneva Accords, and is a strong supporter of human rights both in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as well as for the LGBT and Israeli Arab populations in Israel proper.

For more information, see a current list of the political parties in Israel.

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Daniel Kushner is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and an editor at The South Wing.