1988 Israeli Legislative Election
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1988 Israeli Legislative Election
Elections for the 12th Knesset
← 1984 1 November 1988 1992 →

Elections for the 12th Knesset were held in Israel on 1 November 1988. Voter turnout was 79.7%.[1]

Parliament factions

The table below lists the parliamentary factions represented in the 11th Knesset.

Name Ideology Symbol Leader 1984 result Seats at 1988
Votes (%) Seats
Alignment Social democracy
Labor Zionism
Shimon Peres 34.9%[a]
Mapam Labor Zionism
Yair Tzaban
Likud National conservatism
National liberalism
Yitzhak Shamir 31.9%
Tehiya-Tzomet Ultranationalism
Revisionist Zionism
? Yuval Ne'eman
Rafael Eitan
Mafdal Religious Zionism ? Yosef Burg 3.5%
Hadash Communism
? Meir Vilner 3.4%
Shas Religious conservatism
Yitzhak Peretz 3.1%
Shinui Liberalism
Amnon Rubinstein 2.7%
Ratz Social democracy
Shulamit Aloni 2.4%
Yahad Centrism ? Ezer Weizman 2.2%
PLFP Pro-peace ? Mohammed Miari 1.8%
Agudat Yisrael Religious conservatism ? Avraham Yosef Shapira 1.7%
Morasha Religious conservatism
Social Conservatism
Haim Drukman 1.6%
Tami Religious Zionism
Economic egalitarianism
Aharon Abuhatzira 1.5%
Kach[b] Religious Zionism
Meir Kahane 1.2%
Ometz National liberalism Yigal Hurvitz 1.2%


1988 Knesset.svg
Alignment 685,36330.0239-5
Agudat Yisrael102,7144.505+2
National Religious Party89,7203.935+1
Degel HaTorah34,2791.502New
Progressive List for Peace33,6951.481-1
Arab Democratic Party27,0121.181New
Derekh Aretz4,2530.190New
Or Movement4,1820.180New
Movement for Social Justice3,2220.140New
Yishai - Tribal Israel Together2,9470.130New
Movement for Moshavim2,8380.120New
Silent Power1,5790.070New
Movement for Demobilised Soldiers1,0180.040New
Yemenite Association9090.040New
Valid votes2,283,12399.03
Invalid/blank votes22,4440.97
Total votes2,305,567100.00
Registered voters/turnout2,894,26779.66
Source: IDI, Nohlen et al.


Likud's Yitzhak Shamir formed the twenty-third government 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 tried to form an Alignment-led coalition in a move that became known as "the dirty trick", but failed to win sufficient support. Eventually Shamir formed the twenty-fourth government 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.

Several defections occurred during the Knesset term; five members of Likud left to form the Party for the Advancement of the Zionist Idea. After two of them returned, the party was renamed the New Liberal Party. Yitzhak Peretz left Shas and established Moria. Eliezer Mizrahi left Agudat Yisrael and established Geulat Yisrael. Efraim Gur left the Alignment to establish Unity for Peace and Immigration, which later merged into Likud.

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 two secular parties (Likud, Alignment) would get to form the coalition government. Ratz, Mapam, and Shinui merged into Meretz, while Black Panthers broke away from Hadash.


  1. ^ Mapam had been part of the Alignment since 1969, but the party broke away prior to the 1988 election as a gesture of disapproval of the national unity government with Likud.
  2. ^ Kach was disqualified from running in the 1988 elections for violation of the amended Basic Law: the Knesset.


  1. ^ Dieter Nohlen, Florian Grotz & Christof Hartmann (2001) Elections in Asia: A data handbook, Volume I, p127 ISBN 0-19-924958-X

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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