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The National Union ( , HaIhud HaLeumi) is a nationalist political party in Israelmarker. In the 2009 elections the Union was an alliance of four right-wing parties: Moledet, Hatikva, Eretz Yisrael Shelanu, and Tkuma.

Background

The National Union was formed in 1999 to contest the elections of that year as an alliance between Moledet, Tkuma and Herut – The National Movement, winning four seats. In 2001 the party's support was almost doubled by the addition of the predominantly Russian-immigrantmarker party, Yisrael Beiteinu.

After Ariel Sharon won the 2001 Prime Ministerial elections, the party was brought into the National Unity Government and party leader Rehavam Zeevi was appointed Minister of Tourism, with Yisrael Beiteinu leader Avigdor Lieberman made Minister of National Infrastructure. When Zeevi was assassinated on 17 October 2001, Binyamin Elon of Moledet took his ministerial position, and Lieberman became head of the Union.

Herut decided to fight the 2003 elections alone and left the Union. The National Union party won seven seats and was included in Ariel Sharon's coalition alongside Likud, Shinui, the National Religious Party and Yisrael BaAliyah. Elon and Lieberman were appointed Minister of Tourism and Minister of Transportation respectively.

The Union opposed the withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. Sharon sacked ministers Elon and Lieberman, and the Union left the coalition (Elon attempted to avoid sacking by going into hiding, but ultimately failed).

However, the National Union was then bolstered by the addition of the Renewed Religious National Zionist Party, which had been formed by NRP dissidents opposed to the Gaza withdrawal after the NRP had decided to remain in the coalition. After withdrawal, the Union adopted orange as its symbol, the colour having been used by anti-disengagement protestors.

In 2005 Yisrael Beiteinu left the Union to fight the 2006 elections on its own. At the last minute the National Religious Party decided to form a joint list with National Union called National Union - NRP. The Union adopted more social policies and won the support of the chief rabbis of the Religious Zionism (such as Rabbi Abraham Shapira), and the Union of Handicapped (thanks to the NRP's pro-handicapped legistlation). The joint list used the slogan New right rising (Hebrew: ימין חדש עולה, Yamin Hadash Oleh) and won nine seats, of which the National Union took six.

In 2008, in anticipation of the 2009 election, the Union and NRP formally unified into a single party, called the Jewish Home. This was intended to unify their political sector and present the public with a new face for the religious Zionist movement. The Jewish Home was to be a single party, rather than a list of separate parties, each with its own agenda and independent leadership. Professor Daniel Hershkovitz was picked to head the newly formed party.

However, MK Aryeh Eldad left to form his own list, Hatikva, while MKs Effi Eitam and Yitzhak Levy (formerly Ahi) re-established Ahi, which later merged into Likud. When the Jewish Home announced its candidate list for the elections, five of the top six slots went to ex-NRP members, with only MK Uri Ariel, formerly of Tkuma, in the top six.

The remaining ex-Moledet members broke off, re-established their party, and allied with MK Eldad's Hatikva, reviving the National Union name. Elon stated that he would not seek reelection and American immigrant Uri Bank took his place on the Jewish Home list.

The split from Jewish Home grew, and polls indicated Hatikva could win three seats. Eretz Yisrael Shelanu also joined the National Union, with member Michael Ben-Ari given fourth spot on the alliance's list. While these issues were being negotiated, Uri Ariel also left Jewish Home and rejoined the Union list, leaving Jewish Home as little more than a renamed NRP.

The main spiritual leaders of the party are Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, RavZalman Baruch Melamed former Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel Mordechai Eliyahu, HaRav HaGaon Dov Lior and Soviet Refusenik Rabbi Yosef Mendelevitch.

The media response to the party has been varied. The British Daily Telegraph's Dina Kraft labeled the party as,
"Less powerful, but more extreme, are the National Union, led by Yaakov Katz, who swore an oath as he lay injured during the 1973 Yom Kippur war to dedicate his life to building Israeli settlements."
[40268].

Platform

The party has a joint platform, and in particular it supports the settlement of all the Land of Israel, advocates the use of more military power in the war on terror and harsher measures against Palestinian terrorism. It rejects all current Oslo-based peace efforts — which it sees as dangerous to Israel and rejects the notion of a Palestinian state. The party instead advocates cantons of self rule for the Arabs in the West Bankmarker whose leadership would be local and not imported. They also wish to create the means to initiate population transfer of Israeli Non-Jews who wish to leave, as well as those deemed not to be Ger Tzedekim. said situation to do so. It is heavily molded by the doctrine of Ya'akov Katz and Rabbi Benny Elon, the former leader of Moledet. It also supports a Torah-constituted multi-ethnic, multi-diverse theonomic democratic Jewish State under the banner of the Israelimarker Flag.

  • On security and defense, the party's manifesto declares:




The State of Israel’s security requirements cannot be met simply through a political solution – we must prevail militarily through achieving an immediate and decisive victory. Allowing the Arab war of attrition to drag on, threatens to weaken Israel in the consciousness of its citizens, ruin its economy and encourage its Arab citizens towards hostility against us....The right of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel is inseparably intertwined with their right to peace and security, including the constant and consistent Arab violations of the Oslo, Wye and Hevron agreements, after the failure of the Camp David Accord, after the Oslo and Second Lebanon wars that claimed so many victims, and after the rise of Hamas to power in the Palestinian Authority - it is necessary to view all the agreements and commitments to the PA signed by the State of Israel as null and void, as well as peace agreements with all of its neighbors, but not at the price of security for its citizens. The party will act to solidify the national camp around a realistic regional peace plan. The party deplores and condemns the uprooting and forced transfer of thousands of Jews from their homes in Gaza region and northern Samaria, the destruction of their vibrant communities and the burning of their Synagogues. There will (futhermore) be no uprooting of Jewish communities and no surrender of parts of the Land of Israel in any subsequent Israeli government led by the party.







Settling the land is an expression of the fulfillment of Zionism. It ensures our hold on the land, contributes to the distribution of the population and accomplishes the social revolution of the Jewish people that ties it to its homeland and makes it productive. The Ichud Leumi sees settling the land as important for reasons of security, economics and social wellbeing, and will demand the formation of a parliamentary settlement committee to further the establishment expansion of settlements in sparsely settled regions of the country.....We will demand that Israeli law and justice be administered equitably in the administration of Israeli settlements in this region, and that responsibility for them be transferred from the Defense Ministry to the local council....The List maintains that Jewish workers (Hebrew labor) should be returned to the agricultural sector, and insists on the right of Jews to settle in all parts of the Land of Israel. Available resources, long-term goals, water allotment and production quotas must all be considered when agricultural ventures are planned; there should be equity in the division of resources....Strengthening development towns is a national mission. Therefore, their residents will be accorded preferences so that their educational systems and their economic enterprises can be enhanced. This will improve the standard of living in these towns, making them more attractive to potential new residents, to the younger generation and to those who grew up there.



  • On Israeli foreign policy


The goals of our foreign policy should focus on safeguarding the State of Israel’s sovereignty while seeking peace with Arab countries based on the principle of “peace for peace”. The State of Israel will act to intensify its connection and reciprocal ties with the Jewish communities of the Diaspora. It is necessary to build and nurture positive relationships with the peoples and governments of other countries without relinquishing Israel’s security interests, freedom of action and complete national independence. While a strong alliance with the United States is desirable, it is crucial that the State of Israel act to decrease its dependence on American financial aid until its complete cancellation can be achieved. It is necessary to strengthen the State of Israel’s ties with African, Asian and European nations and to further its political and economic interests in both the East and West. The State of Israel will act to widen the circle of countries that support her, that stand beside her and cooperate with her, first and foremost Russia, the countries of the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. We will struggle to condemn the Arab boycott and we will demand its denunciation in the international arena, including the imposing of sanctions against countries and corporations that observe it or surrender to it.



  • On law and order.


As long as the existing violations of the balance between the judicial, executive and legislative branches are not corrected by legislation, the party will object to a constitution that gives the Supreme Court the authority to nullify laws. The party supports legislation aimed at preventing the erosion of the Knesset’s authority by the Supreme Courts’ incursion into its domain. The party will support changes in the method of selecting Supreme Court judges so that Israel’s Judicial system will have a more democratic character. The party will call upon the Judicial system to absorb into its ranks judges with varying worldviews that will represent the diversity of Israeli society. The party will introduce legislation according to the Hebrew Judicial spirit and will work towards infusing such values into the various branches of the Israeli Judicial system.






The State of Israel is the state of the Jewish people.A party will not be allowed to stand for election to the Knesset if its platform does not affirm that the State of Israel is the state of the Jewishpeople.It is necessary to ensure that the Jewish character of the State, which is rooted in the values of Jewish heritage, will be safeguarded by intensifying the study of the heritage of the Jewish people and its history.No party shall have political patronage regarding religious values and its laws and any legislation in the field of religion will be determined without coercion of one sector by another, but rather by as wide a consensus as possible.The List/Slate views service in the Israel Defence Forces or National Service a crucial need of the State and believes that the study of Torah isnecessary to preserve the heritage of the Jewish people. At the same time an unequal division of the obligation to serve in Israel's defense forces or in National Service is unacceptable.The National Union will encourage the establishment of frameworks that combine security/military service and Torah study such as the Hesder Yeshivas and the Nachal HaHaredi Units.







United Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish people in the State of Israel. This is not a policy statement but a statement of fact. We demand (robustly):

A. Uninterrupted Jewish building in all parts of Jerusalem to ensure the unity of the Israeli capital.

B. The transfer to Jerusalem of all Israeli Government offices, institutions and public organizations and allowing the establishment of foreign consular offices only in Jerusalem.

C. The guaranteeing of open access to the Holy Places to all, and in particular the guaranteeing of every Jew’s right to pray on the Temple mount.

D. The prevention of illegal building by the Arabs in eastern Jerusalem and in the areas of Judea and Samaria surrounding Jerusalem.







The status of the legislative branch of government will be enhanced and the erosion of the Knesset by the Supreme Courts’ incursion into its domain will be stopped. The party sees fairness and credibility as essential elements of a clean administration and will aspire to be an example of truth, humility and personal and public integrity. In order to prevent moral corruption in Israeli public life, the party will ensure that transparency is improved and will work to prevent conflicts of interest among elected officials.







The party supports the fair and inclusive representation of all cultural views and ideologies on the state-run television and radio outlets. The party will work toward giving a voice to the many diverse opinions and streams in Israeli society while preserving a general feeling of fairness, mutual respect, freedom of expression and balance. The party will strive to insert fair competition in the media sector and prevent the establishment of journalistic monopolies and conflicts of interest.







On-going aliyah (immigration of Jews to Israel), which is critical for sustaining and strengthening the State, is at the core of the Zionist venture. It is therefore essential to encourage aliyah and to facilitate the absorption of olim (immigrants). The State of Israel is the heart of the Jewish people. And so the State and the Jews of the Diaspora share a common destiny and reciprocal responsibility. The State of Israel must help preserve the bond that connects Jews everywhere by supporting Jewish education and strengthening the relationship with Jewish communities in the Diaspora, while Jewish communities in the Diaspora must be active partners in encouraging aliyah. Aliyah enables the State to develop and enrich itself culturally; diversify economically; deepen its understanding of democratic process and sharpen its sensitivity to issues of human rights; and expand its horizons in science, technology, education and sports. Therefore, the government must take full advantage of the potential in aliyah from around the world and specifically the aliyah from Western nations and the former Soviet Union. Continuation of existing government and Jewish Agency special programs for encouraging aliyah from France, Argentina and S. Africa must be assured, as must be long-term programs for the advancement in Israel of olim from the Ethiopian community. Olim from each of these communities should be given active and central roles in the implementation of their respective programs. In order to preserve the Jewish nature of the State more effort must be invested in the Jewish education of candidates for aliyah, as well as in the establishment of new programs and expansion of already existing programs for conversion in the Diaspora for non-Jews who are entitled to make aliyah under the Law of Return.







All citizens of the State of Israel are entitled to the highest standard of public health care. The party supports ensuring that the medical needs of all Israeli citizens are afforded the best attention at the lowest possible cost. The party will work toward regulating the installation of cellular antennas throughout the country by prioritizing the health interest of the Israeli people ahead of the interests of the cellular phone companies. Among other steps, the party will work to tighten acceptable antenna radiation standards and increase required minimum distance between antenna stations and residential population centers. The party will call for the establishment of an independent regulatory body, empowered to levy heavy fines and penalties for every offense and deal firmly with cellular phone companies regarding the placement of their existing and future antennas. The party will work towards preserving all that lives and grows in the Land of Israel, including a forestation of desolate regions of Israel, preservation of water bodies and a zero tolerance policy against the illegal and hazardous dumping of industrial materials, toxic chemicals and sewage. The ever present shortage of water is one of the most strategic threats to the State of Israel today. The party attaches great importance to securing Israel’s sources of water and preventing other nations from diverting water sources flowing into Israel. The party will work towards insuring the State of Israel’s effective preservation of rainfall and the establishment of desalinization facilities. The party will propose creative solutions to inter-city transportation problems that are crucial to solving lingering problems of pollution and air quality. The party will work toward strengthening enforcement and standards against polluters, while raising the quality of Israel’s air. The party will introduce new building and zoning standards in densely populated areas in order to maximize space, protect the environment, increase efficiency and allow for state-of-the-art transit applications. The party will establish rail-based transportation solutions in order to reduce non-commercial vehicular traffic into the large cities.


Knesset members

NU party ballot 2009
After the 2009 elections:

References

External links




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