Independent Liberals (Israel)

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Independent Liberals

ליברלים עצמאיים
LeaderMoshe Kol
Gideon Hausner
Yitzhak Artzi
Founded16 March 1965
DissolvedMid 1980s
Split fromLiberal Party
Merged intoAlignment
Social liberalism[1]
Political positionCenter
Most MKs7 (1965)
Fewest MKs1 (1977–1981)
Election symbol

The Independent Liberals (Hebrew: ליברלים עצמאיים‎, Libralim Atzma'im) were a political party in Israel between the 1960s and 1980s.


The Independent Liberals party was formed during the fifth Knesset in the aftermath of the merger of the Liberal Party and Herut. Seven of the 17 Liberal Party MKs led by former Minister of Justice, Pinchas Rosen, disagreed with the merger and founded a new party in response. Almost all of the dissenters were former members of the Progressive Party, which had merged with the General Zionists to create the Liberal Party during the fourth Knesset, and also included Rachel Cohen-Kagan, formerly an MK for WIZO.

In their first electoral test, the 1965 elections, the Independent Liberals won 5 seats and joined Levi Eshkol and Golda Meir's coalition governments, with Moshe Kol appointed Minister of Tourism and Minister of Development. During the sixth Knesset they lost one seat when Yizhar Harari left the party to join the Alignment.

In the 1969 elections the party won four seats and were again included in Meir's coalition government. Kol retained his post as Minister of Tourism. The party also won four seats in the 1973 elections and were included in both of Meir and Yitzhak Rabin's coalition governments. Kol again retained his post as Minister of Tourism and Gideon Hausner was made a Minister without Portfolio. However, they lost one seat when Hillel Seidel defected to Likud.

The 1977 elections saw the party win only one seat, barely crossing the 1% electoral threshold (they received 1.3% of the vote). The party was also excluded from Menachem Begin's right-wing coalition. The 1981 elections saw the party fail to cross the electoral threshold and disappear from the Knesset. For the 1984 elections the party merged into the Alignment, with its leader Yitzhak Artzi given 44th place on the Alignment list, ceasing to exist as an independent party.

Election results[edit]

Election Leader Votes % Position Seats +/– Outcome
1965 Moshe Kol 45,299 3.75 Increase 6th
5 / 120
1969 Moshe Kol 43,933 3.21 Steady 5th
4 / 120
Decrease 1 Coalition
1973 Moshe Kol 56,560 3.61 Steady 5th
4 / 120
Steady Coalition
1977 Gideon Hausner 20,384 1.17 Decrease 13th
1 / 120
Decrease 3 Opposition
1981 Yitzhak Artzi 11,764 0.61 Increase 12th
0 / 120
Decrease 1 Extra-parliamentary
1984 Yitzhak Artzi 724,074
(as part of the Alignment)
34.9 Increase 1st
1 / 120
Increase 1 Coalition


  1. ^ a b Goldstein, Amir (Spring 2011). ""We Have a Rendezvous With Destiny"—The Rise and Fall of the Liberal Alternative". Israel Studies. 16 (1): 27, 32, 47, 49. Thus, the PP continued to represent mostly white collar and government workers, intellectuals, and the labor intelligentsia, all of whom favored the social liberalism, broadly-based universal views, and social and religious pluralism that the party stood for.⁴(27); Kol wrote to Goldmann...: 'But the party must be founded on a clear ideological basis, and no such basis exists between our progressive humanistic liberalism and Herut.'²⁰(32); Kol emphasized that, 'The Herut Movement and social liberalism cannot dwell together in the same house.'(47); The PP, renamed the 'Independent Liberal Party,' resumed its progressive activity by trying to influence government policy—even if only marginally—from within the Labor camp, and affiliating itself with the ruling party.(49)
  2. ^ Ervin Birnbaum (1970). The Politics of Compromise: State and Religion in Israel. p. 66. ISBN 08386 7567 0. The ILP is strongly secularist and is a staunch foe of religious encroachment and domination in the country.

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