Tzomet

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Tzomet (Hebrew: צומת‎‎, lit Crossroads) was a small secular, right-wing political party in Israel.

Tzomet
צומת
Leader Rafael Eitan(1983-1999)
Moshe Gerin(2003-2008)
Ideology Separation of church and state
Presidential system
Free market
Political position Right-wing
Most MKs 8(1992)
Election symbol
צ‎ (2003)
כץ‎ (2006)
ץ‎ (1984, 1992, 1999, 2009)

History[edit]

The party was founded by General Rafael Eitan in 1983 after his retirement from the position of chief-of-staff in 1982. He headed it throughout its existence and modeled it in his spirit as a secular, right-wing party with a strong agricultural side. Many of Tzomet's members and MKs were neighbors of Eitan in Tel Adashim (a small agricultural community). Tzomet ran for the 1984 elections in a joint list with the Tehiya party and Eitan was its only member of the Knesset. Tzomet and the Tehiya parted way in 1987 and Tzomet ran independently in the 1988 elections, winning two seats.[1] The party joined Yitzhak Shamir's government in 1990 and Eitan was appointed Minister of Agriculture. However, the party left the coalition in December 1991 in protest at Shamir's participation in the Madrid Conference.[2]

In the 1992 elections Tzomet gained eight seats,[1] but were not included in the left-wing coalition. However, the party's success was also its downfall. None of the new MKs had any political experience and most were completely unknown. A popular joke at the time described the party as "Raful and the seven dwarfs". Allegations of tyrannical behavior by Raful were raised, and in February 1992 three members—Gonen Segev, Esther Salmovitz and Alex Goldfarb—left and founded the Yiud party (which then also splintered into Atid).[3] The three left the party because Segev was offered the position of Minister of Energy by Yitzhak Rabin if he voted in favour of the Oslo Accords, which Tzomet opposed, and which would not have passed without his vote.

All this reduced the popularity of the party and in the 1996 elections it chose to run in a joint list with the Likud and Gesher under the name "National Camp List". Tzomet was ensured several relatively high places in the combined list, partly as a reward for the withdrawal of Eitan as prime minister candidate—the 1996 elections were the first Israeli elections to feature a double vote, one for the Knesset and one direct vote for the prime minister. Eventually, three Tzomet candidates were voted into the Knesset, though one of them, Moshe Peled, broke away to form his own Mekhora faction before joining Moledet.[3]

In the 1999 elections Tzomet ran alone for the Knesset. However, it had lost almost all its support, and won just 4,128 votes, less than 10% of the number needed to cross the 1.5% electoral threshold. After the humiliating defeat, Eitan retired from the political life.

The party ran in the 2003, the 2006 elections, and the 2009 elections, but won only 2,023, 1,342, and 1,520 votes respectively in the three elections, not meeting the election threshold in any of them.

Ideology[edit]

The party supported a separation of religion and state.

Knesset members[edit]

Knesset
(MKs)
Knesset Members
11th
(1)
Rafael Eitan
12th
(2)
Rafael Eitan, Yoash Tzidon
13th
(8−3)
Pini Badash, Haim Dayan, Rafael Eitan, Moshe Peled, Eliezer Sandberg
Alex Goldfarb, Esther Salmovitz, Gonen Segev (to Yiud)
14th
(3−1)
Haim Dayan, Rafael Eitan
− Moshe Peled (to Mekhora)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Bernard Reich; David H. Goldberg (2008). Historical Dictionary of Israel. Scarecrow Press. p. 501. ISBN 978-0810837782. 
  2. ^ "Twelfth Knesset". Knesset. Retrieved 21 June 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "Mergers and Splits Among Parliamentary Groups". Knesset. Retrieved 21 June 2015. 

External links[edit]