Gesher (2019 Political Party)
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Gesher 2019 Political Party

LeaderOrly Levy
Founded25 December 2018
Split fromYisrael Beitenu
Social liberalism[1]
Economic egalitarianism[2]
Two-state solution[4]
Political positionCentre[5]
National affiliationLabor-Gesher (2019-2020)
Labor-Gesher-Meretz (2020 to March 2020)
Colours  Dark Blue
Election symbol

Gesher (Hebrew: ‎, lit. Bridge) is a liberal and centrist[6] political party in Israel, established in December 2018 by former Yisrael Beitenu MK Orly Levy. The party focuses primarily on economic and cost-of-living issues.[7] The name of the party is a reference to the party founded by Orly's father, David Levy.


Levy served on behalf of the Yisrael Beiteinu party during the 20th Knesset, but withdrew from the party after it joined the 34th government, due to the fact that she did not receive a ministerial position despite her high ranking on Yisrael Beitenu's list. At first, she remained officially a part of the party, but later was removed from the party and remained a member of the Knesset. Levy was recognized as an independent member of the Knesset, not a member of the coalition, but in the opposition.[8] In March 2017 Levy announced her intention to establish a new party for the elections.[9]

Gesher was founded in December 2018, a few days after the April 2019 election was called. The party attempted to run on a joint list with Benny Gantz's Hosen L'Yisrael but after negotiations failed, the party declared it would run alone.[10]

On 18 July 2019, ahead of the September 2019 election, the party agreed to form an electoral alliance with the Labor party.[11][12]

For the 2020 March elections, Gesher-Labor unified with Meretz in light of worries that neither party would pass the 3.25% threshold needed to enter the Knesset. Many Gesher voters were surprised at this merger, because when it comes to the politics of the Arab-Israeli conflict, Gesher was seen as more of a centre-right party, while Meretz is a left wing party.[] On 17 March 2020, Gesher leader Orly Levy requested that she be allowed to withdraw her party from its alliance with Labor and Meretz.[13] The Arrangements Committee approved the split on 23 March.[14]


Leader Took office Left office
OLevyAS5V7987.JPG Orly Levy 2018 Incumbent

Election results

Election year Party leader # of overall votes % of overall vote # of seats won +/- Government
April 2019 Orly Levy 74,701 1.73 (#14)
New party Extraparliamentary
September 2019 Orly Levy Part of Labor-Gesher
Increase 1 Snap election
2020 Orly Levy Part of Labor-Gesher-Meretz
Steady 0 In coalition


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  5. ^ Avishai, Bernard (8 February 2019). "Benjamin Netanyahu Finally Faces a Real Challenger in Benny Gantz--If the Opposition Can Unite Behind Him". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2019.
  6. ^ Staff Writer (14 March 2018). "Orly Levy-Abekasis is Israel's newest political wildcard". Times of Israel. Retrieved 2018.
  7. ^ Hezki Baruch (26 December 2018). "Levy-Abekasis' party to be named Gesher". Israel National News. Retrieved 2019.
  8. ^ Hezki Baruch (15 March 2017). "Yisrael Beytenu MK dismissed". Israel National News. Retrieved 2019.
  9. ^ "Orly Levy-Abekasis: "I'll establish a new party"". mako (in Hebrew). 18 March 2017.
  10. ^ "Levy-Abekasis: No merger with Gantz after his 'weird, hallucinatory' behavior". The Times of Israel. 20 February 2019. Retrieved 2019.
  11. ^ "All the Candidates Running in Israel's September Do-over Election". Haaretz. 2 August 2019. Retrieved 2019.
  12. ^ Gil Hoffman; Jeremy Sharon; Tamar Beeri (18 July 2019). "Labor nabs Orly Levy-Abekasis, Left joint list called off". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 2019.
  13. ^ Jacob Magid (17 March 2020). "Renegade MK files breakaway request from Labor-Meretz after U-turn on Joint List". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 2020.
  14. ^ "You can go your own way: Arrangements Committee approves MK's request to part from Labor-Meretz". The Times of Israel. 23 March 2020. Retrieved 2020.

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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