chapter  5
19 Pages

Israel’s coalition government

Secular liberals, religious nationalists, and ultra-orthodox parties
WithMatt Evans

The Israeli government coalition formed following the 2015 election comprised six of the ten parties in parliament. Political parties in the coalition and opposition reflect many of the country’s contentious societal rifts. Coalition parties promote diverse, and often conflicting, aims of Israel’s secular and religious public, while the four opposition parties represent different constituent groups within the country’s Jewish majority and Arab minority. One of the main issues that distinguishes coalition from opposition parties is their position on security and peace policies. This, more than anything, divides right from left in Israel’s political spectrum. The second most important defining issue is parties’ stance on religion and the state. Parties’ also reflect different views on economics, immigrants, gender, and minority rights. Studying the political parties in Israel’s coalition and opposition, the interests and constituents they represent, and their policy priorities, provides insight into critical schisms in Israeli society and political culture.