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Do Religious Parties Have a Future?

The Israel Democracy Institute 4 Pinsker Street, Jerusalem


While religious parties have maintained their power over the years, more and more religiously-observant politicians are running on non-sectoral party tickets and many religiously observant Jews prefer to vote for general parties rather than for religious ones. Given that, are religious parties still relevant in Israel today or are they an unnecessary throwback to a previous era?

On Wednesday January 2, 2013, before the elections for the 19th Knesset, IDI's George Shultz Roundtable Forum brought together MKs Chaim Amsellem, Tzipi Hotoveli, and Uri Orbach, Knesset candidate Rabbi Shay Piron, and a host of experts and scholars for a rountable on this topic.

This Hebrew event was broadcast live on the IDI website.


Religious MKs Expected in the 19th Knesset by Party
(Based on a Dahaf poll of anticipated mandates
conducted on December 18, 2012) 

Likud-Beytenu: Zeev Elkin, Tzipi Hotovely, Yuli Edelstein, David Rotem, Moshe Feiglin, Shimon Ohayon. Habayit Hayehudi: Naftali Bennett, Uri Ariel, Nissan Slomianski, Eliahu Ben-Dahan, Uri Orbach, Zevulun Kalfa, Avraham Wertzman, Moti Yogev, Orit Struck, Yoni Shatbon,Shuli Muallem. Shas: Eliyahu Yishai, Aryeh Deri, Ariel Atias, Yitzhak Cohen, Meshulam Nahari, Amnon Cohen, Yakov Margi, David Azoulay, Yitzhak Vaknin, Nissim Zeev, Avraham Michaeli. Hatnua: Elazar Stern. Yesh Atid: Shay Piron, Aliza Lavie. United Torah Judaism: Yakov Litzman, Moshe Gafni, Meir Porush, Uri Maklev, Menachem Eliezer Moses, Israel Eichler. Otzma Leyisrael: Michael Ben Ari. Am Shalem: Chaim Amsellem.

Moderator: Ms. Sivan Rahav-Meir, Channel 2 News


MK Rabbi Haim Amsellem, Am Shalem Party

MK Tzipi Hotovely, Likud Party

MK Uri Orbach, Habayit Hayehudi Party

Prof. Ella Belfer,  Head of the Department of General History, Bar-Ilan University

Prof. Asher Cohen, Department of Political Studies, Bar-Ilan University

Dr. Orit Galili-Zucker, University lecturer in departments of communications and political science

Mr. Moshe Grylak, Editor in Chief, Mishpacha magazine

Prof. Asa Kasher, Professor Emeritus, Tel Aviv University

Rabbi Itshak Levi, IDI Head of Implementation; Former Minister of Education and MK of the National Religious Party

Mr. Akiva Novick, correspondent on settlements and Haredim, Yedioth Ahronoth

Rabbi Shay Piron, Head of Yeshivat Petach Tikva and candidate on Yair Lapid's Yesh Atid Party List

Mr. Yair Sheleg, IDI Research Fellow; Journalist for Makor Rishon

Professor Yedidia Stern, IDI Vice President of Research; Member of Faculty, Bar-Ilan University

Mr. Chili Tropper, Educator and Social Activist, candidate for the Labor Party