Israeli legislative election, 1988
Elections in Israel
Elections in Israel are based on nationwide proportional representation. The electoral threshold is currently set at 2%, with the number of seats a party receives in the Knesset being proportional to the number of votes it receives. The Knesset is elected for a four-year term, although most...

 for the twelfth Knesset
were held in Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 on 1 November 1988. Voter turnout was 79.7%.


Party Votes % Seats +/-
Likud is the major center-right political party in Israel. It was founded in 1973 by Menachem Begin in an alliance with several right-wing and liberal parties. Likud's victory in the 1977 elections was a major turning point in the country's political history, marking the first time the left had...

 1 6 7
709,305 31.1 40
Alignment (political party)
The Alignment was an alliance of the major left-wing parties in Israel between the 1960s and 1990s. It was established in 1965 as an alliance of Mapai and Ahdut HaAvoda but was dissolved three years later when the two parties and Rafi formally merged into the Israeli Labor Party...

 6 7
685,363 30.0 39
Shas is an ultra-orthodox religious political party in Israel, primarily representing Sephardic and Mizrahi Haredi Judaism.Shas was founded in 1984 by dissident members of the Ashkenazi dominated Agudat Israel, to represent the interests of religiously observant Sephardic and Mizrahi ...

107,709 4.7 6
Agudat Yisrael 3 102,714 4.5 5
Ratz 4 97,513 4.3 5
National Religious Party
National Religious Party
The National Religious Party ) was a political party in Israel representing the religious Zionist movement. Formed in 1956, at the time of its dissolution in 2008, it was the second oldest surviving party in the country after Agudat Yisrael, and was part of every government coalition until 1992...

89,720 3.9 5
Hadash is a Jewish and Arab socialist front of organizations that runs for the Israeli parliament. It currently has four members in the 120-seat Knesset.-Background:...

84,032 3.7 4 0
Tehiya , originally known as Banai , then Tehiya-Bnai , was a small right-wing political party in Israel that existed from 1979 until 1992...

70,730 3.1 3
Mapam was a political party in Israel and is one of the ancestors of the modern-day Meretz party.-History:Mapam was formed by a January 1948 merger of the Hashomer Hatzair Workers Party and Ahdut HaAvoda Poale Zion Movement. The party was originally Marxist-Zionist in its outlook and represented...

56,345 2.5 3 New
Tzomet is a small secular, right-wing political party in Israel.-Ideology:The party was the one who first brought the "peace for peace" slogan, which today is used by all Israeli right wing parties and movements...

45,489 2.0 2 New
Moledet is a small right-wing political party in Israel. It advocates the notion of encouraging voluntary population transfer of the Arab population of the West Bank. Moledet was founded in 1988 by Rehavam Ze'evi, who headed it until his assassination by members of the PFLP in 2001, after which...

44,174 1.9 2 New
Shinui is a Zionist, secular and anti-clerical free market liberal party and political movement in Israel. The party twice became the third largest in the Knesset, but both occasions were followed by a split and collapse; in 1977 the party won 15 seats as part of the Democratic Movement for...

 4 6
39,538 1.7 2
Degel HaTorah
Degel HaTorah
Degel HaTorah is an Ashkenazi Haredi political party in Israel. For much of its existence it has been allied to Agudat Yisrael under the name United Torah Judaism.-Ideology:...

34,279 1.5 2 New
Progressive List for Peace
Progressive List for Peace
The Progressive List for Peace was a left-wing political party in Israel formed from an alliance of both Arab and Jewish left-wing activists.-History:...

33,279 1.5 1
Arab Democratic Party
Arab Democratic Party (Israel)
The Arab Democratic Party commonly known in Israel by its Hebrew acroynym Mada was a political party in Israel. Since the late 1990s it has been a faction within the United Arab List.-Background:...

27,012 1.2 1 New
Pensioners 16,674 0.7 0 New
Meimad is a left-wing religious Zionist political party in Israel. Founded in 1999, it is based on the ideology of the Meimad movement founded in 1988 by Rabbi Yehuda Amital. At the national level, it was in alliance with the Labour Party, and until the 2006 elections, received 10th spot on the...

15,783 0.7 0 New
Derekh Aretz 4,253 0.2 0 New
Or Movement
Ahrayut is a minor political party in Israel.The party advocates altering the structure of government, redistributing the division of authority, enacting a constitution and hold frequent referendums. It ran for the Knesset elections for the first time in 2009, without success.-External links:*...

4,182 0.2 0 New
Movement for Social Justice
Rafael Suissa
Rafael "Rafi" Suissa is an Israeli politician who served as a member of the Knesset for the Alignment between 1981 and 1984, and as mayor of Mazkeret Batya on three occasions. He is currently a member of Mazkeret Batya local council.-Biography:...

3,222 0.1 0 New
Yishai - Tribal Israel Together
Shimon Ben-Shlomo
Shimon Ben-Shlomo is an Israeli former politician who served as a member of the Knesset between 1984 and 1988.-Biography:Born in Yemen in 1942, Ben-Shimon made aliyah to Israel in 1949...

2,947 0.1 0 New
Movement for Moshavim
Ra'anan Naim
Ra'anan Naim 31 December 1935 – 7 September 2009) was an Israeli politician who served as a member of the Knesset for the Alignment from 1981 to 1984.-Biography:...

2,838 0.1 0 New
Moshe Dwek
Moshe Dwek is a Yemenite-Israeli most notable for throwing a hand grenade in the Knesset while it was in session on 29 October 1957 and for a failed run for the Knesset in 1988....

1,654 0.1 0 New
Silent Power 1,579 0.1 0 New
Movement for Demobilised Soldiers 1,018 0.0 0 New
Yemenite Association
Yemenite Association
The Yemenite Association was a political party in Israel.-History:The party was founded by Yemenite Jews in 1923. It took part in Israel's first elections in 1949, crossing the electoral threshold by just 53 votes, and winning one seat, which was taken by Zecharia Glosca.Despite the influx of...

909 0.0 0 New
Unity - for Victor Tayar to the Knesset
Victor Tayar
-Biography:Born in Libya, Tayar made aliyah to Israel and settled in Jaffa.During the 1970s he was amongst the leaders of the Black Panthers. For the 1981 elections he headed a party called Amkha, but won only 460 votes. In the 1984 elections Amkha won 733 votes...

446 0.0 0 0
Invalid/blank votes 22,444
Total 2,305,567 100 120 0
Source: Nohlen et al

1 Five members of the Likud left to form the Party for the Advancement of the Zionist Idea; after two returned, the party was renamed the New Liberal Party
New Liberal Party (Israel)
The New Liberal Party was a political party in Israel in the early 1990s.-Background:The party was formed on 15 March 1990 during the twelfth Knesset by five MKs who had broken away from Likud...

. One member moved from the Alignment to the Likud.

2 One MK left Shas and established Moria.

3 One MK left Agudat Yisrael and established Geulat Yisrael.

4 Ratz, Mapam, and Shinui merged into Meretz.

5 Black Panethers broke away from Hadash.

6 One member of Shinui joined Ratz, whilst an Alignment MK joined Shinui.

7 Efraim Gur
Efraim Gur
Efraim Gur is an Israeli former politician who served as a member of the Knesset between 1988 and 1996, and as Deputy Minister of Communications and Deputy Minister of Transportation in the early 1990s.-Biography:...

 left the Alignment to establish Unity for Peace and Immigration
Unity for Peace and Immigration
Unity for Peace and Immigration was a short-lived one man political faction in Israel in the early 1990s.-Background:The faction was formed when Efraim Gur broke away from the Alignment in 1990, during the term of the 12th Knesset. Gur was invited to join Yitzhak Shamir's new government which had...

, which later merged into Likud.

The twelfth Knesset

Likud's Yitzhak Shamir
Yitzhak Shamir
' is a former Israeli politician, the seventh Prime Minister of Israel, in 1983–84 and 1986–92.-Biography:Icchak Jeziernicky was born in Ruzhany , Russian Empire . He studied at a Hebrew High School in Białystok, Poland. As a youth he joined Betar, the Revisionist Zionist youth movement...

 formed the twenty-third government
Twenty-third government of Israel
The twenty-third government of Israel was formed by Yitzhak Shamir of Likud on 22 December 1988, following the November 1988 elections. The government remained a national unity coalition between Likud and the Alignment, with the National Religious Party, Shas, Agudat Yisrael and Degel HaTorah also...

 on 22 December 1988, including the Alignment, the National Religious Party, Shas, Agudat Yisrael and Degel HaTorah in his coalition, with 25 ministers.

In 1990 Shimon Peres
Shimon Peres
GCMG is the ninth President of the State of Israel. Peres served twice as the eighth Prime Minister of Israel and once as Interim Prime Minister, and has been a member of 12 cabinets in a political career spanning over 66 years...

 tried to form an Alignment-led coalition in a move that became known as "the dirty trick
The dirty trick (Israel)
The dirty trick refers to a political scandal that erupted in Israel in 1990. It consisted of an attempt by Shimon Peres to form a narrow government made up of the left-wing factions and the ultra-orthodox parties...

", but failed to win sufficient support. Eventually Shamir formed the twenty-fourth government
Twenty-fourth government of Israel
The twenty-fourth government of Israel was formed by Yitzhak Shamir of Likud on 11 June 1990. This followed the failure of Alignment leader Shimon Peres to form a government, after the Alignment had pulled out of the previous national unity coalition, in an incident which became known as the dirty...

 on 11 June 1990, with a coalition encompassing Likud, the National Religious Party, Shas, Agudat Yisrael, Degel HaTorah, the New Liberal Party, Tehiya, Tzomet, Moledet, Unity for Peace and Immigration and Geulat Yisrael. Tehiya, Tzomet and Moledet all left the coalition in late 1991/early 1992 in protest at Shamir's participation in the Madrid Conference
Madrid Conference of 1991
The Madrid Conference was hosted by the government of Spain and co-sponsored by the USA and the USSR. It convened on October 30, 1991 and lasted for three days. It was an early attempt by the international community to start a peace process through negotiations involving Israel and the Palestinians...


The Twelfth Knesset saw the rise of the ultra-orthodox religious parties as a significant force in Israeli politics, and as a crucial "swing" element which could determine which of the large 2 secular parties (Likud, Alignment) would get to form the coalition government.

External links

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