CJPME Factsheet 237, created August 2023: This factsheet introduces the right-wing extremist coalition parties of the Israeli government. It outlines their domestic policies, particularly the LGBTQ community in Israel and Palestinians in the Occupied Territories. The factsheet also explores their ideology on the issue of Palestinian self-determination and how Canada has responded to the extremist and racist policies of Israel's right-wing government. 


Israel's Extremist Right-Wing Government

Factsheet Series No. 237, created: August 2023, Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East

Which parties make up Israel’s extremist right-wing government?

Israel’s coalition government, elected in November 2022 and sworn in on December 29, 2022 is made up of six parties, each of which are often described as right-wing, or extreme right-wing, ultranationalist parties. This government coalition includes 64 of the 120 Israeli Knesset seats. They are:

  1. Likud (Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s party): 32 seats.
  2. Religious Zionism (Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich’s party): 7 seats.
  3. Otzmah Yehudit “Jewish Power,” (Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir’s party) 6 Seats
  4. Noam (Ultra-Orthodox anti-liberal party): 1 seat
  5. Shas (Ultra-Orthodox right-wing party): 11 seats.
  6. United Torah Judaism (Ultra-Orthodox party): 7 seats.

What are some extreme policies of this government?

  1. Primacy of the Legislature: The government seeks to limit the Supreme Court’s powers to overturn laws and hold the executive accountable by giving the Knesset the power to override Supreme Court decisions through a majority vote. Other controversial changes include taking away the Supreme Court’s power to review the legality of Israel’s “Basic Laws.”[1] [2]
  2. Anti-LGBTQ+ positions: While, as of August, 2023, no laws have been passed yet to limit the rights of members of the LGBTQ+ community, several members of the coalition government have announced their intentions of limiting LGBTQ+ rights.[3]
  3. Jewish Supremacy: The majority of the component parties of this coalition have expressed positions which reflect Jewish Supremacist ideals.[4]
  4. Settlement Expansion and Annexation: The government has actively expanded Illegal Israeli settlements, while taking minimal action to deter violent settler attacks against Palestinians. For example, Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir literally praised settlers for murdering a Palestinian youth.[5] The first 8 months of this government’s rule have seen hundreds of settler attacks on Palestinian civilians and their property.[6] Meanwhile, the government has started a process of illegally annexing the occupied West Bank,[7] and is planning to double the West Bank settler population.[8]
  5. Racial Discrimination and Segregation: This government has made clear its intention to make changes to land administration and allocation in a way which perpetuates and deepens racial segregation. It is also committed to prohibiting expressions of Palestinian identity and self-determination, including banning the Palestinian flag.[9]

What are some extreme policies of the government’s component parties?

  • Likud: Endorsed the annexation of the West Bank and adopted a policy opposing the creation of a Palestinian state under any conditions.[10] [11]
  • Religious Zionism: Desires to change anti-discrimination laws to exclude members of the LGBTQ+ community. If passed, the changes to this law would make it legal for a business owner to refuse service to customers if they believed that it would violate their religious rights.[12]
  • Otzma Yehudit: Advocates for the annexation of the occupied West Bank as well as modifying the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan’s stewardship of the Haram al Sharif (Temple Mount) and providing regular, unfettered access to Jews who wish to visit the site.[13] [14]
  • Shas: Advocates for the abolition of Secularism in Israel and the introduction of “Halakha” Jewish religious law into mainstream society.[15] Opposes any expression of homosexuality. This includes gay pride parades, and has accused homosexual people of “carrying out the self-destruction of Israeli society and the Jewish people.”[16]
  • United Torah Judaism: Opposes secularism and seeks to render it illegal to conduct business during the Sabbath.[17]
  • Noam: Aims to diminish the rights of the LGBTQ+ community and women and has vowed to push for reinstatement of conversion therapy.[18]

What are their respective views on Palestinian self-determination?

All of the parties that make up the government are opposed to Palestinian statehood. However, there are differences in their stated agendas and views.

Religious Zionism calls for the expulsion of all Palestinians in the West Bank who do not give up their aspirations of nationhood. Their leader, Finance Minister Smotrich, who also holds unprecedented civilian control over the occupied West Bank, stated in March 2023 that “there is no such thing” as a Palestinian people.[19]

Otzma Yehudit calls for the expulsion of all Palestinians in Israel and the occupied territories.[20]

Shas has called for the outright “annihilation” of the Palestinian people and promoted the idea of Jewish Supremacy.[21]

Noam’s position is that all of the land of Israel is the sole property of the Jewish people and that Palestinians must be made subordinate to the Jews.[22]

Likud and United Torah have made their opposition to Palestinian statehood clear but they have not gone as far as to make extreme remarks as some of the other parties in the coalition have.[23] [24]

How has Canada responded to Israel’s right-wing government?

Canada has taken a “business as usual” approach to this government.  The Prime Minister has made some statements “expressing concern” and stating that Israel needs to “shift its approach,” although he was mostly referencing Israel’s judicial reforms, not its policies towards Palestinians.[25] Trudeau reiterated Canada’s position against settlements but no concrete steps have been taken to punish or sanction Israel.[26] Furthermore, Trudeau has simply called for “peace” in the face of violence.[27]

In March 2023, Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly met with her Israeli counterpart, Eli Cohen. Cohen, a far-right extremist previously stated that Palestinian citizens of Israel should “move to Gaza on a one-way ticket.”[28]


[1] Israel has no written constitution establishing basic rights of its citizens or enshrining the function of the government; instead, its “basic laws” function as the complete legal underpinning of the state.

[2] Atzili, Boaz, “Four ways Netanyahu’s New Far-Right Government Threatens Israeli Democracy,” January 6, 2023, The American University, https://www.american.edu/sis/news/20230106-four-ways-netanyahus-new-far-right-government-threatens-israeli-democracy.cfm

[3] Orbach, Nate, “You’ve heard of Bibi and Ben Gvir. Now meet the rest of the new government” Dec. 29, 2022, +972 Magazine, https://www.972mag.com/new-coalition-government-radical-agendas/

[4] Najjar, Farah, “Passage of Israel’s judicial reform entrenches ‘Jewish supremacy’,” July 24, 2023, Al Shabaka,

[5] “Ben-Gvir praises killing of Palestinian as self-defense, calls to probe ‘arab rioters,’” Aug. 6, 2023, i24 News, https://www.i24news.tv/en/news/israel/society/1691315906-ben-gvir-praises-deadly-shooting-of-palestinian-as-self-defense-calls-to-investigate-arab-rioters

[6] Lynfield, Ben, “Armed Israeli Settlers rampage through Palestinian town in revenge attack,” Jun. 21, 2023, The Guardian, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/jun/21/israeli-settlers-attack-palestinian-villages-following-deadly-hamas-strike

[7] Sfard, Michael. “Israel is Officially Annexing the West Bank,” Foreign Policy, June 8, 2023, https://foreignpolicy.com/2023/06/08/israel-palestine-west-bank-annexation-netanyahu-smotrich-far-right/  

[8] Kubovich, Yaniv & Samuels, Ben, “Far-right Israeli Minister Lays Groundwork for Doubling West Bank Settler Population,” Haaretz, May 18, 2023

[9] “New Israeli Government’s policy guidelines indicate officials’ intent to commit crimes under int’l law,” Oct. 1, 2023, Adalah, https://www.adalah.org/en/content/view/10770

[10] “Israeli leader vows to push ahead with West Bank annexation,” May 25, 2020. PBS News Hour, https://www.pbs.org/newshour/world/israeli-leader-vows-to-push-ahead-with-west-bank-annexation

[11] Encyclopedia Britannica, “Likud Party Israel,” accessed Aug. 4, 2023 at https://www.britannica.com/topic/Likud

[12] “Religious Zionism MKs suggest doctors and hotels can refuse to serve gay people,” Dec. 25, 2022, Times of Israel, https://www.timesofisrael.com/liveblog_entry/religious-zionism-mks-suggest-doctors-and-hotels-can-refuse-to-serve-gay-people/

[13] Galili, Lily, “Israel's West Bank annexation is coming, just not in the way you expected,” Dec. 17, 2022, Middle East Eye, https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/israel-west-bank-annexation-coming-not-way-expected

[14] “Israeli far-right minister leads incursion of Al-Aqsa compound,” July 27, 2023, Al Jazeera, https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/7/27/israels-far-right-minister-leads-incursion-of-al-aqsa-compound

[15] Keller-Lynn, Carrie, “Lapid warns new government will form a ‘halachic state,’” Nov. 21, 2022, The Times of Israel,


[16] Ilan, Shahar, “Shas MK: Gays Are Causing Israeli Society to Self-destruct,” Haaretz, Jan. 29, 2008

[17] “Report shows UTJ, Likud negotiating vast expansion of religious rule, rousing anger,” Dec. 12, 2022, Times of Israel, https://www.timesofisrael.com/report-claims-utj-likud-negotiating-vast-expansion-of-religious-rule-rousing-anger/

[18] Orbach, Nate, “You’ve heard of Bibi and Ben Gvir. Now meet the rest of the new government” Dec. 29, 2022 , +972 Magazine,  https://www.972mag.com/new-coalition-government-radical-agendas/

[19] Major, Darren, “Ottawa condemns Israeli minister’s shameful remarks about Palestinian people” Mar. 21, 2023, CBC News,

[20] Rubin, Shira, “Itamar Ben Gvir: How an extremist settler became a powerful Israeli minister,” Feb. 15, 2023,

[21] Yilmaz, Ihsan & Morieson, Nicholas, “Religious populism in Israel: The case of Shas” Mar. 20, 2022, European Center for Populism, Studies, https://www.populismstudies.org/religious-populism-in-israel-the-case-of-shas/

[22] “Netanyahu’s Emerging Coalition,” Israeli Center for Public Affairs, November 22, 2022, https://www.ofekcenter.org.il/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/FINAL-Netanyahus-Emerging-Coalition-November-2022.pdf

[23] Hoffman, Gil, “Likud votes to oppose Palestinian state,” July 27. 2017, Jerusalem Post, https://www.jpost.com/israel-news/likud-votes-to-oppose-palestinian-state-500847

[24] Levi, Michal, “Does the haredi UTJ party oppose the creation of a Palestinian state?” Feb 11. 2020, Israel National News, https://www.israelnationalnews.com/news/275851

[25] Robertson, Dylan, “Liberal MP slams own government’s ‘bland statements’ on Israel’s far-right crackdown,” Apr. 5, 2023, The Canadian Press, https://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/liberal-mp-slams-own-government-s-bland-statements-on-israel-s-far-right-crackdown-1.6343717

[26] Robertson, Dylan, “Netanyahu visit to Canada ‘not on the table’ Says PM Trudeau,” Jul. 20, 2023, CTV News, https://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/netanyahu-visit-to-canada-not-on-the-table-says-pm-trudeau-1.6487595

[27] Ibid

[28] Ettinger, Amir. “Likud MK seeks to outlaw display of enemy flags at state funded institutions,” May 29, 2022, Israel Hayom


Click on the red tag(s) below to see related CJPME resources