Pirates, Arab Christians and Messianic Jews
The upcoming election features a whopping 39 parties. Here are the lesser-known parties that will be of interest to Israel Today readers
Israel’s Ynet news portal at the weekend ran a story on some of the fringe political parties that have persevered election after election (and there’ve been quite a few of late) in trying to win seats in the Knesset. We rearranged the title and focus of that article to better suit the interests of our Christian readers ahead of the March 23 vote.
Most of the media surveys only include the dozen or so parties expected to pass the electoral threshold and actually be represented in the 24th Knesset. But there are actually a whopping 39 parties running. And that doesn’t come close to the record 47(!) parties that ran in the April 2019 election.
Now, a good chunk of those parties stick around for one or maybe two elections, and then throw in the towel. But a handful keep running, even when the polls give them no chance of passing the electoral threshold, confident that one day they will sit in the hallowed hall of the Knesset plenum.
Some of the more interesting among them include:
The Bible Bloc
The Bible Bloc is a party open to all Israelis who believe in the Bible, including Messianic Jews and Gentile Christians. Its main policy thrust, however, is encouraging mass Jewish immigration from the Diaspora, in particular America, before antisemitism overwhelms the Jewish community still living there. The party sees an influx of 10 million new immigrants, including seven million Jews and three million non-Jewish Bible-believers seeking refuge.
Party leader Dennis Lipkin says it might take a few more elections, but eventually he sees the Bible Bloc with 10 seats in the Knesset.
Notably, the Bible Bloc includes the first openly Messianic Jew running for Knesset, David Friedman. Read more about him here: The First Messianic Jew to Run for Knesset
Sons of the Covenant
The Union of Sons of the Covenant is a pro-Israel Arab Christian party headed by IDF veteran Bishara Shlayan of Nazareth. The party advocates an inclusive Israeli society in which everyone contributes, and everyone benefits, regardless of race or religion.
The Jewish Heart
The Jewish Heart is a party that exists to oppose the sale of Israeli-made weapons, especially to third world countries. Party leader Eli Yosef told Ynet that his hoped for outcome next month is for yet another election to be called, and then another, and then another, “until we finally wake up to the love for all mankind that is within us.”
Running in its fourth election now, this party primary advocates for easing the bureaucracy that potential investors from Arab countries must navigate to invest in Israel. Party leader Noam Kolman said that he does a lot of business in the Arab world, and has heard many complain that they would like to invest in Israel, but find the process too difficult, and even humiliating.
The party’s message is certain to gain increased attention in the wake of the Abraham Accords and the expectation of broader business cooperation between Israel and its new Arab allies.
The four party leaders of Kamah are the former spouses of Jerusalem-based cult leader Daniel Ambash, who is serving a 26-year prison sentence for sexual abuse and imprisonment. The party insists that the citizens of Israel should be free to live as they choose, so long as it does not hurt anyone else, including the right to marry multiple spouses and raise children with “alternative” methods.
Hear (Shema in Hebrew) is a religious Zionist party that opposes the political legitimization of homosexuality in Israel, and wants tougher legislation against online pornography. “It is time to change the general direction of the nation of Israel for the better and return to our heritage,” insisted party leader Naftali Goldman.
No list of fringe Israeli political parties would be complete without the Pirates Party. First established in 2012, it is the local representative of the International Pirate Party movement, and advocates participatory democracy via the Internet, transparency, freedom of expression and privacy. Pictured at the top of the page is Pirate Party leader Ohad Shem Tov.