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Yisrael Beiteinu

Party name: Yisrael Beiteinu

Bloc: Right

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Leader Avigdor Lieberman Method of leadership selection Party founder
Current MKs 5 Method of List selection Appointment by the central committee

Brief party history:

Yisrael Beytenu (Israel Our Home) is a secular right-wing party established in 1999 by Avigdor Lieberman, an immigrant from the former Soviet Union.  The party was initially created as a political home for Russian speaking Israelis who supported a tough standpoint on negotiations with the Palestinian Authority. In their first election, they won 4 seats and joined the coalition. By 2003 they had joined the National Union, a joint list of right-wing parties, in which they maintained their 4 seats. They withdrew from the coalition and the National Union technical bloc as the Gaza Disengagement was supported by the Sharon government.

In 2012 the party merged with Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud to fight the 2013 elections as Likud Yisrael Beiteinu. The merged party won 31 seats in the Knesset and formed the next government, with the Yisrael Beiteinu faction holding 11 of the seats. In 2014, the party split into Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu again.

In 2016 Yisrael Beytenu joined the coalition with Lieberman accepting the position of Minister of Defense, strengthening the coalition from 61 to 66. He resigned from the position and withdrew his party from the coalition in November 2018 after the government’s decision not to launch an offensive in Gaza in retaliation against the escalation of violence on the border.

 

What do they stand for?

The party has maintained a hardline stance on peace talks with the Palestinian Authority. They support a territorial exchange leaving large Arab settlements (such as Umm el-Fahm) under Palestinian control and large Jewish settlements east of the Green Line under Israeli control.

Yisrael Beiteinu has also, in tandem with Prime Minister Netanyahu, taken a strong stance against the growth and development of an Iranian nuclear program, and Iran’s projection of power elsewhere in the Middle East.

Yisrael Beiteinu has an economically liberal position, supporting increased competition, reduced government expenditure and privatization of state-owned enterprises. The party is also staunchly secularist, supporting public transportation and retailers operating on Shabbat, the conscription of full-time Yeshiva students, and liberalizing the marriage laws in Israel.

Activity in the current Knesset

While part of the governing coalition, Lieberman held the Defence portfolio. During his term in office, he oversaw several significant events in the Syrian theater, including shooting down an Iranian drone and attacking air bases and weapons repositories. He also dealt with a rise in hostilities in Gaza.

Sofa Landver held the position of Minister of Absorption during the two years that the party was in the coalition.