Israel’s 23 elections have resulted in 12 different people serving as prime minister, in addition to one person, Yigal Allon, who served only on an interim basis.

Israel’s Prime Ministers

Click on a prime minister’s name for more information.


David Ben-Gurion

David Ben-Gurion was Israel’s first prime minister and long held the record for most time in the position. (Hans Pinn, Israeli National Photo Collection)


David Ben-Gurion, 1948-1954 and 1955-1963


Moshe Sharett

Moshe Sharett was Ben-Gurion’s successor and predecessor. (Hans Pinn, Israeli National Photo Collection)


Moshe Sharett, 1954-1955


Levi Eshkol

Levi Eshkol, shown after Israel’s victory in the June 1967 war, was the only prime minister to die in office. (Israeli National Photo Collection)


Levi Eshkol, 1963-1969


Yigal Allon

Yigal Allon (right) served as interim prime minister for a month after Eshkol’s death, then gave way to Golda Meir at the head of the government. (Moshe Milner, Israeli National Photo Collection)


Yigal Allon, 1969 (interim after Eshkol’s death)


Golda Meir, 1969-1974


Yitzhak Rabin

Yitzhak Rabin never led his party in a Knesset election as the prime minister. (Moshe Milner, Israeli National Photo Collection)


Yitzhak Rabin, 1974-1977, 1992-1995


Menachem Begin

Menachem Begin ended three decades of governments led by Mapai and its left-wing successors. (Ya’acov Sa’ar, Israeli National Photo Collection)


Menachem Begin, 1977-1983


Yitzhak Shamir, 1983-1984, 1986-1992


Shimon Peres

Shimon Peres (left) and Yitzhak Shamir formed a national unity government in which they took turns as prime minister in the mid-1980s. (Nati Harnik, Israeli National Photo Collection)


Shimon Peres, 1984-1986, 1995-1996 


Benjamin Netanyahu

Benjamin Netanyahu broke Ben-Gurion’s record the longest time serving as prime minister. (Moshe Milner, Israeli National Photo Collection)


Benjamin Netanyahu, 1996-1999, 2009-present


Ehud Barak

Ehud Barak won the second-ever direct election for prime minister, then lost the third and so far last. (Moshe Milner, Israeli National Photo Collection)


Ehud Barak, 1999-2001


Ariel Sharon

Ariel Sharon’s term ended prematurely when he slipped into a coma after a massive stroke in January 2006. (Avi Ohayon, Israeli National Photo Collection)


Ariel Sharon, 2001-2006


Ehud Olmert

Ehud Olmert gained the premiership on an interim basis after Sharon fell into a coma, gained the position in his own right, then resigned amid corruption allegations. (Amos Ben Gershom, Israeli National Photo Collection)


Ehud Olmert, 2006-2009

Israel’s Election History

Click on the Knesset number for a brief summary of that election. Click on the election date for full results from the Knesset website.

1949 Election Infographic

First KnessetJan. 25, 1949, Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion of Mapai (46 seats)


1951 Election Infographic

Second KnessetJuly 30, 1951, Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion of Mapai (45 seats)


1955 Election Infographic

Third KnessetJuly 26, 1955, Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion of Mapai (40 seats)


1959 Election Infographic

Fourth KnessetNov. 3, 1959, Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion of Mapai (47 seats)


1961 Election Infographic

Fifth KnessetAug. 15, 1961, Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion of Mapai (42 seats)


1965 Election Infographic

Sixth KnessetNov. 2, 1965, Prime Minister Levi Eshkol of Alignment (45 seats)


1969 Election Infographic

Seventh KnessetOct. 28, 1969, Prime Minister Golda Meir of Alignment (56 seats)


1973 Election Infographic

Eighth KnessetDec. 31, 1973, Prime Minister Golda Meir of Alignment (51 seats)


1977 Election Infographic

Ninth KnessetMay 17, 1977, Prime Minister Menachem Begin of Likud (43 seats)


1981 Election Infographic

10th KnessetJune 30, 1981, Prime Minister Menachem Begin of Likud (48 seats)


1984 Election Infographic

11th KnessetJuly 23, 1984, Prime Minister Shimon Peres of Alignment (44 seats) and Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir of Likud (41 seats) in a unity government rotating the premiership after two years


1988 Election Infographic

12th KnessetNov. 1, 1988, Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir of Likud (40 seats)


1992 Election Infographic

13th KnessetJune 23, 1992, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin of Labor (44 seats)


1996 Election Infographic

14th KnessetMay 29, 1996, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (winner of a direct election) of Likud (32 seats, second to Labor’s 34)


1999 Election Infographic

15th KnessetMay 17, 1999, Prime Minister Ehud Barak (winner of a direct election) of One Israel (26 seats)


2001 Election Infographic

2003 Election Infographic

16th KnessetJan. 28, 2003, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon (originally winner of a direct election in 2001) of Likud (38 seats)


2006 Election Infographic

17th KnessetMarch 28, 2006, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert of Kadima (29 seats)


2009 Election Infographic

18th KnessetFeb. 10, 2009, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Likud-Ahi (27 seats, second to Kadima’s 28)


2013 Election Infographic

19th KnessetJan. 22, 2013, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu (31 seats)


2015 Election Infographic

20th KnessetMarch 17, 2015, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Likud (30 seats)


April 2019 Election Infographic

21st KnessetApril 9, 2019, no government formed (Likud, 35 seats, and Blue and White, 35 seats)


September 2019 Election Infographic

22nd KnessetSept. 17, 2019, no government formed (Blue and White, 33 seats, and Likud, 32 seats)


2020 Election Infographic

23nd KnessetMarch 2, 2020, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Likud (36 seats) in a unity government with Benny Gantz of Blue and White (33), with an agreement to rotate the premiership after two years


24th Knesset — March 23, 2021