Obscure party hits record-breaking low with just 216 votes
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Bottom of the ballot box

Obscure party hits record-breaking low with just 216 votes

Brit Olam snatches title of least successful party ever from longtime candidate Ilan Meshicha, whose party comes fifth to last

A tray of ballot slips at a voting booth in Israel's parliamentary election on April 9, 2019. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)
A tray of ballot slips at a voting booth in Israel's parliamentary election on April 9, 2019. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

An obscure political party, Brit Olam, has broken the record for receiving the fewest-ever votes, with just 216 ballots cast for the movement, according to the final results released by the Central Elections Committee on Tuesday.

Brit Olam (Eternal Covenant) was the only party of the 39 running with just one candidate on its slate, party leader Ofer Lifshitz.

Receiving the smallest number of ballots of any party in Israel’s 70-year history, Lifshitz inherited the futility title from the Social Leadership party, headed by veteran and unsuccessful Knesset candidate Ilan Meshicha.

In the 2015 election, Meshicha’s party broke a record for receiving the lowest number of seats by any party running in an Israeli election — it scored 223 votes. The previous record was also held by Meshicha, who in the 2013 elections, won 461 votes — then the lowest ever — with his now-defunct Tradition of the Fathers party.

In the current race, Meshicha’s party came fifth-to-last, or 35th place (385 votes).

In second-to-last place was the Union of Bnei Habrith, a Christian Israeli party chaired by ship captain Bashara Shalian of Nazareth, with 265 votes.

Third from the bottom was the Bible Bloc, or Gush Hatanachi (353 votes), which presented itself as the first Jewish-Christian slate to run for the 120-member Knesset. The party sought to preserve “Judeo-Christian values” that it said are under threat from radical Islam and vowed to fight for the under-represented Christian population in Israel, including non-Jewish Russian immigrants from the former Soviet Union.

It was followed by the Ani V’Ata (Me and You) party, which called for the creation of a platform, where the public would be able to contribute more directly to the democratic process, “in order to break the illicit bond between politics and money that has taken over our democracy.” The party blamed both the “extreme right rule” and the “weak opposition” for allowing Israel to become a “plutocracy” and said it would give power back to the people.

It received the support of 368 people.

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