The Jewish Home
- This article is about the political party. For the concept of a Jewish homeland, see Homeland for the Jewish people
|The Jewish Home|
|Preceded by||National Religious Party|
Modern Orthodox interests
|Religion||Modern Orthodox Judaism (core constituency)|
|Colours||Blue, Green and Orange|
|Politics of Israel
It was originally formed by a merger of the National Religious Party, Moledet and Tkuma in November 2008. However, after its top representative was placed 17th on the new party's list, Moledet broke away from the party, and instead ran on a joint list with Hatikva called the National Union. Tkuma also rejoined the National Union whereas the Ahi faction have joined Likud.
For the 19th Knesset Elections, The Jewish Home and Tkuma parties merged their lists under the leadership of the chairman of The Jewish Home, Naftali Bennett; Uri Bank and his Moledet party supported the merger. The other National Union members formed the Otzma LeYisrael party. The party has ministers in the cabinet of Israel.
On 3 November 2008 it was announced that the NRP and the Moledet and Tkuma factions of the Union would merge to form a new party. However, the Ahi and Hatikva factions of the Union rejected the merger – their leaders, Effi Eitam and Aryeh Eldad respectively, were both opposed to the party being a religious one, while Eitam was also unhappy that the new party would not hold primaries.
The party was initially nameless. Five names were proposed: HaBayit HaYehudi ("Jewish Home"), Shorashim ("Roots"), Atzma'ut ("Independence"), Shalem ("Whole"), and Amihai ("My Nation Lives"). In an on-line ballot, the members chose "Jewish Home".
Ya'akov Amidror was chosen to head a public committee formed to choose the party's list for the 2009 elections. On 8 December 2008 Rabbi Professor Daniel Hershkovitz, a mathematician from the Technion, was chosen to head the new party.
When Jewish Home announced its candidate list for the upcoming elections, five of the top six slots went to ex-NRP members. MK Uri Ariel of Tkuma was the sole exception: he received the third slot. Polls then indicated Jewish Home would get five to seven seats, thus making the first six spaces highly contested. The ex-National Union members again complained. Ex-Moledet MK Benny Elon stated that he would not seek reelection and was replaced on the candidate list by American immigrant Uri Bank. The remaining Moledet members broke away and allied with Hatikva in a revived Union (Bank also later switched to the Union.)
On 25 December Tkuma MK Ariel left Jewish Home and joined the Union. This left Jewish Home as little more than a renamed NRP: The Jewish Home, the new National Religious Party.
In November 2012 the Jewish Home held separate primaries for leadership of the party. My Israel leader Naftali Bennett won over incumbent MK Zevulun Orlev, winning more than two thirds of the vote and Orlev announced he was resigning from politics. A week later, primaries for the remaining members of the list were held, and Nissan Slomiansky, Ayelet Shaked, and Uri Orbach reached the top spots. With the National Union breaking up, Uri Ariel officially reunited Tkuma with the Jewish Home to run on a joint list in the 2013 Israeli elections. A few Moledet candidates were included. In the elections that were held on 22 January 2013 the Jewish Home won 12 seats. The Jewish Home entered the thirty-third government of Israel under prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and has 3 ministers (Bennett, Ariel and Orbakh) and 2 deputy-ministers (Ben-Dahan and Wortzman).
As part of its 2013 coalition agreement, the Jewish Home has the right to veto any laws that change the fragile status quo on religious issues. In December 2013, the party vetoed a Yesh Atid–proposed bill that sought to give gay fathers equal tax benefits, saying it far-reaching implications on marriage laws. Currently, mothers receive more benefits than do fathers under the law, and thus couples composed of two men are ineligible for certain tax breaks.
As the descendant of the National Religious Party, the Jewish Home is willing to cooperate with secular Israelis in governing the state, but it has not forgone its objective of creating a polity governed by Jewish law. The party's members adhere to the belief that Jews are divinely commanded to retain control over the Land of Israel. Many members have taken the lead in establishing Israeli settlements, making it nearly impossible for the party to join a coalition led by the center-left political bloc.
The party primarily represents Modern Orthodox Jews, who tend to be more nationalist in Israel. For many years, this community has been politically fractured and weak. During 2013 elections, the party's leader appealed to both religious and secular Israelis. The party's pro-settlement message and the appeal of party leader Naftali Bennett, a charismatic, high-tech millionaire, helped it increase popularity among a broader segment of the population. The attention that Bennett received also apparently had an effect on Likud's 2013 election strategy, pushing it to the right. Along with Yesh Atid, the Jewish Home surged in popularity by promising to end the controversial system of draft exemptions given to ultra-Orthodox seminary students, and to "ease the burden" on middle class Israelis who serve in the military, work and pay taxes. These two parties became two largest coalition parties in Prime Minister Netanyahu's government, and leaders of both parties were able to force Netanyahu to promise that the ultra-Orthodox political parties will not be in the new coalition. Despite Bennett's alliance with Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid on many domestic issues, the two differ sharply over peace efforts and settlement building. Bennett is opposed to concessions to the Palestinians and has called for Israel to annex Area C of West Bank.
|17||2006–2009||5||Uri Ariel, Eliyahu Gabai, Zvi Hendel, Zevulun Orlev, Nissan Slomiansky|
|18||2009–2013||3||Daniel Hershkowitz, Uri Orbakh, Zevulun Orlev|
|19||2013–||12||Naftali Bennett, Uri Ariel, Nissan Slomiansky, Eli Ben-Dahan, Ayelet Shaked, Uri Orbakh, Zvulun Kalfa, Avi Wortzman, Moti Yogev, Orit Strook, Yoni Chetboun, Shuli Mualem|
||This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the Hebrew Wikipedia. (January 2013)|
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