“A prime minister who is immersed up to his neck in investigations and has no moral and public mandate to determine such fateful things for the State of Israel. Because there is a fear, I must say real and not unfounded, that he will make decisions based on the personal interest of his political survival and not on the basis of the national interest." (Netanyahu, 2008)
The first Prime Minister to hold this position while accused in multiple cases. Netanyahu is on trial for 3 different criminal cases of fraudulent bribery and breach of trust.
“Israel will be governed as in days of King David and King Solomon” (Smotrich, 2019)
“My Wife Wouldn't Want to Give Birth Next to an Arab Woman” (Smotrich, 2016)
Smotrich first came into the public eye in 2005 when he was arrested by security services while in possession of 700 liters of gasoline. He was suspected of participating in an attempt to blow up the Ayalon Highway, a major arterial road. In 2006, he helped organize the ‘Beast Parade’ as part of protests against a gay pride parade in Jerusalem. After the 2023 Huwara rampage on February 26, 2023, Smotrich said, "I believe that the village of Huwara should be wiped out. I believe that the state of Israel should do so and not, God forbid, ordinary individuals."
"They have no place, not in Jerusalem and certainly not in the State of Israel.” (Ben Gvir on LGBTQ+, 2016)
Ben Gvir faced no fewer than 53 indictments and was convicted of eight criminal offenses. These included rioting, inciting racism, and supporting a terrorist organization. Due to his violent activities, he was not drafted to the army. He gained public attention when, two weeks prior to the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, he tore off the symbol from Rabin’s car and threatened the Prime Minister, stating, ‘Just as we got to the symbol, we will also get to Rabin.’ In 2019, Mr. Ben-Gvir stated that Arab citizens of Israel who were not loyal to Israel ‘must be expelled.’
In 2023, the Supreme Court of Israel ruled that Deri was not allowed to hold a position as a cabinet minister due to previous conviction for tax offenses. Deri's history includes a 2000 conviction for accepting $155,000 in bribes during his tenure as Interior Minister. In 2018, he was investigated for fraud, breach of trust, court interference, money laundering, and tax violations while serving as Interior Minister and later as an MK and Shas party leader. In 2022, Deri left the Knesset after admitting to tax evasion through property sales misrepresentation, undeclared income, and tax avoidance, incurring a one-year suspended sentence and a fine of approximately $51,430.
"Our flag represents an unequivocal struggle against progress. We must alter the status quo and ensure that Judaism, yes Judaism, will be acknowledged in every corner of the nation's life. Israel will become a nation that observes Shabbat openly, LGBTQ+ families will not receive recognition, and women will not serve in the military. Prosperity will come to all who marry and raise families. We will not become like countries that are for all their citizens. Heaven forbid. Jewish values stand above individual rights. You see, I am equipped with tools and budgets; I have come here to work, and we will cleanse the public systems. Test me, we have endured our suffering. This is merely the beginning of the beginning." (Maoz, 2023)
Maoz, leader of the Noam party, has been appointed as a deputy minister in Israel. He is known for his conservative views on social issues, including opposition to LGBTQ+ rights and advocating for a strict interpretation of Jewish religious laws. Maoz has described LGBT people as a threat to the family and has expressed a desire to cancel gay pride parades. His party ran a poster campaign in 2019 with the words “Israel chooses to be normal”. He also believes that a woman’s greatest contribution is in marriage and raising a family.
"Netanyahu's alliance with the far-right around the world is fortunate. It's a strategic alliance. And overall, George Soros, the billionaire, is far more dangerous in my eyes than Orban. As Jews, today we need to choose between two types of anti-Semitism - the old-style anti-Semitism of fascist right, which is truly imbued with anti-Semitism but is very pro-Israel, and the new, explosive anti-Semitism, which has a much stronger impact and greater power. It's the one shaping the tone of the Western world." (Distel-Atbaryan, 2019)
Galit Distel-Atbaryan, a media personality, author, and clothing store owner, is known for her claim of being a two-time Sapir Prizewinner (Heb). However, she has never actually received this prestigious literature award. Prime Minister Netanyahu re-established her ministerial post, which the public has colloquially dubbed the "Propaganda Ministry". In May 2022, Distel-Atbaryan claimed in an interview that “there is no such thing as autism”, and shared how she “treated” her autistic son, by pulling his hair and refusing him food and water until he talked. The comments caused astir and led to criticism from autistic people and their families (Heb).
״Every person is entitled to rights - no matter if they live as a heterosexual couple or as a homophobic couple.״ (Gallant, 2018)
Major General (retired) Gallant was initially selected as the next IDF Lieutenant General but had his appointment revoked by Prime Minister Netanyahu after a public land scandal. In 2015, he entered the Knesset, becoming one of its least active members (Heb). In March 2023, Gallant opposed legal reform legislation citing national security concerns. PM Netanyahu threatened removal, sparking mass protests. Gallant kept his position and ultimately voted in favor of the reform, contrary to his earlier objections.
"A wise man taught me that there are three virtues: power, respect and money. Normally, a person will not succeed in obtaining all three. Therefore, among the three virtues, I mainly work on the virtue of power, and I very much hope that in the end it is also buy me honor." (Zohar, 2020)
“the entire Jewish race is the highest human capital, the smartest, the most comprehending” (Zohar, 2018)
Zohar advocates for observing Shabbat and has proposed a bill that enables business owners who observe Shabbat to file a claim for damages against business owners who do work on Shabbat, as it might harm them financially. Zohar expressed controversial views on atheism and secularism, referring to people who hold such opinions as 'delusional.' Additionally, Zohar has faced allegations of nepotism and favoritism due to his support for weddings and private gatherings hosted in venues during the COVID-19 pandemic, with some of these venues being owned by his relatives.
Chikli was elected to the previous Knesset under Naftali Bennett's party, but he did not support Bennett's government. In fact, he assisted Binyamin Netanyahu in overthrowing it, with the promise of a ministerial position in return. The legality of this promise was controversial and initially led to Chikli's disqualification from running, though the Supreme Court overturned the decision, mostly based its decision on technical flaws in Chikli's disqualification process.
“A crazy judge came to me… a judge wanna be. If he didn’t drink a bottle of whiskey before writing, don’t call me Dudi. Not ashamed.” (Amsalem against supreme court judge Mintz, 2021)
Amsalem, known for his hawkish views, was arrested by the police in 2003 on election forgery charges, causing public embarrassment. During his IDF service, he served as a tank commander in the 500th Brigade. Dismissed from his reserve unit due to disciplinary issues and poor human relations (Heb), including driving a military vehicle without training and ordering subordinates to conceal the incident.
Rabbi Goldknopf, a prominent religious figure, chairs the 'Committee for the Sanctity of the Sabbath,' advocating for public domain restrictions. They succeeded in persuading El Al to suspend Saturday flights. Reports in 2010 and 2015 alleged he paid kindergarten teachers in his network $400 less than others (Heb). A 2008 State Comptroller report criticized him, highlighting family member's higher salaries (Heb). Goldknopf, refuting claims, faced criticism from teachers and media ahead of his potential Knesset role. Though disputed, some sources suggest he's Israel's second wealthiest politician with assets over $128 million (Heb).
"[on LGBTQ+] legitimize something that is contrary to the natural family unit." (Karhi, 2019)
Karhi is an adherent of Rabbi Mazuz, who has been criticized for holding views that some perceive as racially and homophobic in nature. Karhi reacted to a statement by IDF soldiers, who suggested that if a certain legal reform were adopted, they might be subject to international law and, as a result, would reconsider their voluntary service in the reserve forces. Karhi labeled these soldiers as "bold conscientious objectors" and harshly told them to "go to hell." His tweet was met with widespread criticism, but Karhi remained resolute, characterizing the soldiers' reluctance to serve as "disheartening and deplorable."
"I made revolutions that I think two ministers after me will not be able to fix." (Regev, 2019)
Regev is the daughter of Felix Siboni, who has faced allegations of distributing counterfeit alcohol that could be harmful. In her tenure as the IDF spokesperson, during the secession period, she was notably critical of the settlers, referring to them as "barbarians and criminals", a statement she later said she regrets. After her military service, Regev explored affiliations with various political parties, ultimately aligning herself with Likud. At a rally addressing African asylum seekers, she controversially described the Sudanese as "a cancer in our body." Even though she held the title of Minister of Transportation, Regev was keen to oversee the torch lighting ceremony, a significant, televised event marking the beginning of Israel Independence Day celebrations. Under her guidance, there was a noticeable increase in the presence of the prime minister and, notably, his wife during the ceremony (Heb).
"[On the subject of the ports] I’m bigger than Hordus.” (Katz, 2020)
Katz began his career at the Student Union, where he was involved in breaking up gatherings of Arab students. He was suspended for a year over his participation in a protest against Arab violence on campus that included locking the rector. He faced charges in 1988 for driving while disqualified. Additionally, he was accused of urging a Ministry of Industry and Trade driver to provide inaccurate testimony regarding an accident that damaged the ministry's vehicle, with the intent of concealing his involvement. In 1990 he was convicted of driving while disqualified as part of a plea bargain (Heb). In 2022, Katz was identified as one of the least active members of parliament (Heb).
"Arabs buy apartments in Jewish communities in the Galilee, and this causes Jews to leave these cities, because they are not ready to live with Arabs. We need to ensure that the Supreme Court has judges who understand this problem." (Levin, 2023)
In 2023, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Justice, Levin, initiated a controversial judicial reform. His proposal seeks to reduce the Supreme Court's influence by granting the government more power over the Judicial Selection Committee, limiting the court's power to review laws, and allowing the Knesset to overturn court decisions with a simple majority. In 2023, a scandal erupted when Levin, serving as Minister of Justice, attended a Purim celebration with Raffi Chaim-Kedoshim, a convicted criminal involved in kidnapping, extortion, and previous imprisonments.
Arbel assumed the roles of both the Minister of Health and Minister of Interior following the Supreme Court's rejection of Shas leader Arye Deri's appointments to these positions due to his criminal record. In 2022, Arbel earned the distinction of being the member of Knesset with the highest number of inquiries in the 24th Knesset (Heb). His notable achievement during his tenure is the 'Passport Marathon' operation, which successfully resolved a passport crisis by issuing over 400,000 passports.
Wasserlauf is the youngest member of the twenty-fifth Knesset and the youngest cabinet minister. He actively campaigns for the deportation of Sudanese refugees and migrants that currently reside in south Tel Aviv. He petitioned the High Court of Justice seeking for it to order the Attorney General to explain why extreme measures are not being taken against anti-legal reform demonstrators who block roads. Wasserlauf is in the process of pursuing his BA in law (Heb).
Kisch initiated his political career in the Likud party's liberal faction. He notably backed Gideon Saar in the party's leadership contest against Netanyahu. He has become a prominent advocate for judicial reform as the Minister of Education. One of his initial actions was reducing the budget for a program supporting extended math studies in high school. He also announced that an increase in budget for ultra-orthodox education institutions was a "main task" for the Ministry of Education.
“40% of first graders are ultra-Orthodox... If you didn’t know that, and you weren’t afraid enough, then be more afraid...” (Biton, 2023)
Biton's statement appears to only refer to Jewish Israelis, excluding the country’s Arab population. Most recent estimates put the percentage of Haredi children in first grade at 28% of the total population. The ultra-Orthodox community accounts for about 13.5 percent of the total Israeli population.
Mrs. Silman served as the coalition chairperson in Mr. Bennett's 'government of change' but resigned, leading to its collapse, due to her insistence on prohibiting 'chametz' in hospitals during Passover. Journalist Amit Segal alleged her resignation involved promises from Likud's Netanyahu for a significant Likud list spot and the health minister role (Heb). A video showed her with Likud's Yariv Levin discussing her performance (Heb), though Silman denied promised benefits.
Member of the Likud party. Cohen is the Foreign Minister on behalf of the new Likud government, in rotation with Israel Katz (Likud).
Gila Gamaliel initiated her political career as the chairwoman of the student union at Ben-Gurion University. She was subsequently removed due to concerns over financial inconsistencies associated with the union's fiscal management (Heb). Later, in the 35th government, she served as the minister for social equality. Her tenure, however, attracted criticism, especially when she chose to send her children to private schools (Heb), a move seen by some as inconsistent with her position's emphasis on social equality. Gamliel has also found herself in unusual controversies, including misrepresenting her actions concerning COVID-19 quarantine protocols and erroneously signing the guestbook at Yad Vashem as the "Minister of Security." (Heb)
"Women of the Wall... should be thrown to the dogs..." (Porush, 2016)
Rabbi Porush is an advocate for exempting ultra-Orthodox Jews from military conscription. In 2005, he sparked controversy by drawing a parallel between then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Benito Mussolini. As a minister of Jewish tradition, he made efforts to assist convicted sex offender Rabbi Berlard in obtaining a visa for Ukraine.
In 2016, Margi visited the Crimean Peninsula as a guest of the local Jewish community. This visit was portrayed in Russian media as Israeli acknowledgment of the Russian occupation, causing tensions in Ukraine-Israel relations. Consequently, he became the subject of a criminal investigation in Ukraine.
Mr. Ben-Tzur served as the CEO of the government-owned company 'Hameshakem' (occupational rehabilitation of people with disabilities) from 1997 to 2007. In 2006, he faced investigation regarding overpayment. He was arrested in 2007 on charges of bribery and fraud, but the case was later closed due to insufficient evidence. In 2008, a state auditor's report uncovered significant issues during his tenure at Hameshakem, including nepotism, conflicts of interest, inflated salaries, and favoritism (Heb).
"The Chief of Staff, the Commissioner of Police, and the Head of the Shin Bet released a joint statement about Jewish nationalist terrorism... Who are you,Wagner force? Who are you to issue such a statement under the government's nose? Are they going to lecture us about morals?!" (Strook, 2023)
Mrs. Strook is a settler from the Jewish settlement quarter in Hebron. In 2007, her son Zvi was convicted of abusing a Palestinian boy and killing a young goat, resulting in a sentence of 30 months in prison. Mrs. Strook did not accept his conviction, claiming his innocence and stating, “Unlike the court, who preferred to believe the Arab witnesses.” In 2022, Mrs. Strook suggested that doctors could refuse to treat gay people if it conflicted with their religious beliefs.
During his tenure as the Minister of Religious Services, Mr. Malchieli canceled a highly anticipated reform for Kosher services. In 2023, in compliance with a Supreme Court ruling, Mr. Malchieli assumed the position of Minister of Interior, succeeding Arye Deri. He served in this capacity until the appointment of MK Moshe Arbel as the Minister of Interior on April 19, 2023.
At the previous goverment, Mr. Akunis was suggested as the Minister of Justice after the Supreme Court demanded that the empty post of Justice Minister be filled within 48 hours. A vote in the cabinet on this nomination was ruled illegal by Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit and the Israeli Supreme Court. Mr. Akunis claimed the Palastinians are the obstacle to the peace process (Heb).
In 2015, Mr. Dermer is believed to be behind Netanyahu's contentious speech to Congress opposing the Iran Nuclear Deal, drawing criticism for potentially mobilizing Congress and Jewish organizations against President Obama on matters concerning Palestinians and Iran. In 2016, he faced criticism for accepting an award from the Center for Security Policy, a conservative think tank led by Frank Gaffney. The SPLC designated this organization as a hate group.
Forbes reported Mr. Katz's net worth at approximately $7.8 million, ranking him among Israel's top eight wealthiest politicians. In the 2003 Likud party primary elections, Katz's financial dealings raised concerns. Police suspected aerospace industry employees involved didn't self-finance their fees but utilized an association for salaried workers in Israel managed by Katz, possibly violating party financing law. Although police recommended indictment (Heb) in 2006, Attorney General Mani Mazuz dropped the case in 2007, citing insufficient evidence. Katz faced a series of allegations and investigations, including coercion, insider trading, bribery, and embezzlement. In November 2021, he admitted guilt, receiving probation and a $20K fine.
In February 2023, Haaretz newspaper published an investigation in which it was claimed that Tessler was involved in a silence agreement in which a large sum of money was paid to the victim of sexual assault by his father, Rabbi Ephraim Tessler, while he was the head of the Damascus Eliezer yeshiva for young people of the Vizhnitz Hasidic.
Abutbul served in the army as a driver. Following his military service he worked as a broadcaster at Radio 10, an ultra-orthodox pirate radio station. Abutbul was also an actor in educational movies for ultra-orthdox kids before joining politics. In 2008, he was elected mayor of Beit-Shemesh.
"They [the Reform Jews] caused the greatest damage to the Jewish people. Millions of Jews married on their own initiative in mixed marriages and today are not part of the Jewish people” (Maklev, 2017)
“I’m proud to be racist” (Golan, 2013)
Golan is best known for her campaigns against asylum seekers in Israel (Heb), citing religious beliefs for not serving in the army, while auditioning for a kids TV channel. Appointed Minister for the Advancement of the Status of Women, she faced backlash. Netanyahu proposed her as General Consul in the US, facing strong US opposition. Eventually, Netanyahu withdrew the offer and reinstated her as Minister for the Advancement of the Status of Women. Recently, Golan and her mother were involved in a physical airport altercation.