14 campaign ads that will give you a taste of the Israeli elections

Which of these parties gets your vote for best campaign messaging?
Screenshots of ads for Yesh Atid (led by Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid) and Likud (led by Opposition Leader Benjamin Netanyahu) leading up to Israel's next election on November 1, 2022.

Editor’s note: The following article is by Avi Posen, Sarah Gordon and Sara Himeles.

Israelis are heading to the polls again on November 1st for the country’s fifth election in less than four years. To bring the mood of the elections to you (yes, you!), we’ve collected campaign ads from different parties across the political spectrum. We’ve even added English subtitles!

Based on these ads, who do you think is running the best campaign for the next Knesset? Which ones evoke the strongest reactions for you? Most importantly, who would get your vote?

1. Likud:

This ad focuses on how Israel’s national pride needs to be restored. “Israel is going backward,” it says. Only Bibi (Benjamin Netanyahu) and the Likud party can return Israel to the proud country it is meant to be.

This ad juxtaposes Netanyahu against Yair Lapid (leader of Yesh Atid) and Benny Gatz (leader of the National Unity Party), regarding their approaches to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “It’s either right-wing or Palestine.”

Here, Netanyahu sings the prayer for the IDF soldiers with the IDF choir. It’s noteworthy that the tune is to “Eretz HaTzvi,” a song about Operation Thunderbolt, in which Yoni Netanyahu, Bibi’s brother, was killed. This video highlights Netanyahu’s connection to the IDF and his prioritization of security while emphasizing Jewish tradition.

2. Yesh Atid (“There is a future”): 

This ad highlights Yesh Atid’s track record of implementing successful change. “Why do we say ‘we came to make change and we’ll continue to make change’?” the ad asks. It then goes through a litany of the current government’s accomplishments. “This way is better,” it concludes, implying that productive change is a better alternative to a Netanyahu-led Israel.

3. National Unity Party (Hamachane Hamamlachti): 

This ad uses a Rosh Hashanah theme to promise a “Shana Tova” (“good year”) where it “will be better here” in Israel under the leadership of the National Unity party. The ad features Benny Gantz, Gideon Saar, Pnina Tamano-Shata, and other Knesset members.

4. Religious Zionism party and Otzma Yehudit (“Jewish Power”):

This controversial billboard uses the blessing for one of the simanim from Rosh Hashanah, “may our enemies be removed” with pictures of Ayman Odeh, Ahmad Tibi (the heads of the Arab party Hadash-Ta’al), and Ofer Cassif (the only Jewish member of the Arab party Hadash). “Ben-Gvir’s time has arrived,” the sign reads. (Itamar Ben-Gvir is the head of the far-right Otzma Yehudit party.)

5. United Torah Judaism (“Yahadut HaTorah”) (Ashkenazi Haredi party): 

This catchy jingle for “gimmel” (the symbol for United Torah Judaism found on their ballot) begins with a clip of Rosh Hashanah prayers asking for the downfall of wicked governments (“mamshelet zadon”). The song features prominent Ashkenazi rabbinic leaders and highlights the need to listen to them.

6. Shas (Sephardic Haredi party):

This comedic election ad uses the theme of Sukkot as a way for Aryeh Deri (the Shas leader) to show what he sees as the failures of every other party:

This ad is a spoof of a Yair Lapid ad about him bringing down the price of groceries. Aryeh Deri then argues that the opposite has happened and that the cost of living has increased. The Shas slogan “hungry for a change” expresses their pledge to work on social issues, not just religious ones.

7. Yisrael Beiteinu (“Israel Our Home”): 

This ad uses a play on words to express Yisrael Beitenu’s opposition to the concessions Bibi would make to the Haredi community, allowing them to avoid secular studies in their schools. 

8. Avodah (Labor party): 

This ad focuses on the issue of public transportation on Shabbat. “When we’re fighting for public transportation on Shabbat, it’s not in opposition to the holiness of Shabbat. It’s for the grandmother who wants to get together with her grandchildren on the weekend,” the ad says.

Merav Michaeli, the current Transportation Minister and leader of the Labor Party, recently announced that the soon-to-open light rail system in Tel Aviv will run on Shabbat.

9. HaBayit HaYehudi (“The Jewish Home”): 

With selichot (prayers of repentance) in the background, Ayelet Shaked uses a Yom Kippur theme to apologize to her right-wing base for joining the last unity government, which was not seen as sufficiently right-wing.

10. Meretz (“Vigor”): 

This ad showcases various right-wing politicians in Israel either threatening the political left or laying out what Meretz considers to be a scary vision for the country’s future. Meretz argues that they can prevent this.

11. Arab Parties (Hadash-Ta’al, Ra’am and Balad):

This campaign image from Hadash-Ta’al conveys a promise to keep the Al-Aqsa Mosque an area for Arabs, a response to what they see as provocative visits by groups of Israelis (often religious settlers) and right-wing politicians to the Temple Mount.

To learn more about the different parties running in the 2022 elections, check out this guide from the Israel Democracy Institute website.

Subscribe to This Week Unpacked

Each week we bring you a wrap-up of all the best stories from Unpacked. Stay in the know and feel smarter about all things Jewish.