Rehavam Ze'evi (1988–2001)|
Binyamin Elon (2001–2008)
Uri Bank (2008–2013)
|Merger of||National Union|
|Split from||National Union|
|Most MKs||3 (1992,1996)|
Moledet was established by Rehavam Ze'evi in 1988. It won two seats in the Knesset elections later that year, taken by Ze'evi and Yair Sprinzak. It joined Yitzhak Shamir's government in February 1991 and Ze'evi was appointed Minister without Portfolio. However, he resigned from the cabinet on 21 January the following year. In the 1992 elections it won three seats, with Yosef Ba-Gad and Shaul Gutman joining Ze'evi in the Knesset. However, Gutman left the party to establish Yamin Yisrael on 27 July 1995, whilst Ba-Gad left to sit as an independent on 12 March 1996.
The party won two seats in the 1996 elections, taken by Ze'evi and Binyamin Elon, and supported Benjamin Netanyahu's government, although it did not join it. On 4 March 1999 the party gained a third MK when Moshe Peled left Tzomet to found Mehora, which he immediately merged into Moledet. Prior to the 1999 elections the party joined the National Union alliance alongside Herut – The National Movement and Tkuma. The Union won four seats, with two taken by Moledet members Elon and Ze'evi. The alliance joined the government formed by Ariel Sharon on 7 March 2001 after he had won elections for Prime Minister, and Ze'evi was appointed Minister of Tourism. However, he was assassinated by the PFLP on 17 October 2001, and his seat taken by Uri Ariel of Tkuma. Elon was elected party leader and assumed Ze'evi's place in the cabinet until 14 March 2002.
Prior to the 2006 elections the National Union formed an alliance with the National Religious Party, which went on to win nine seats; Moledet again held two seats, taken by Elon and Eldad. On 3 November 2008 the party announced a merger with other members of the National Union, the National Religious Party and Tkuma to form a new right-wing party, later named the Jewish Home. However, the Jewish Home excluded ex-Moledet members from the top slots of the candidate list for the 2009 elections. Moledet then rejected the merger and joined the revived National Union. Although the Union won four seats, the highest place Moledet candidate was fifth-placed Uri Bank, who failed to enter the Knesset.
The party advocated encouraging voluntary population transfer (as opposed to forced transfer) of the Arab population of the West Bank. While other parties (Kach, Herut) also advocated transfer, Moledet was the party most associated with the concept in Israel and the dearth of other elements within its platform and Ze'evi's success in bringing together opposing elements (in particular, both secular and religious) under the transfer flag. In contrast to Kach and the ideas of Meir Kahane, Moledet advocated only voluntary transfer.
- Moledet Israeli Democracy Institute
- Twelfth Knesset: Government 24 Knesset website
- Mergers and Splits Among Parliamentary Groups Knesset website
- Meranda, Amnon (3 November 2015). "Right-wing parties unite". Ynetnews. Retrieved 2008-11-03.
- "Moledet Strengthens Unity in Religious Camp". Arutz Sheva. 8 November 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-04.
- Party history Knesset website