Yachad (political party)

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Yachad

יחד
LeaderEli Yishai
Founded15 December 2014
Split fromShas
IdeologyOrthodox interests
Religious conservatism
Religious Zionism
Social conservatism
One-state solution
Political positionRight-wing to far-right[1][2][3]
ReligionUltra-Orthodox Judaism, Orthodox Judaism
National affiliationOtzma Yehudit (2015 Elections)
Knesset
0 / 120
Election symbol
קץ (2015)
זנ (2019)
Website
www.elieyshay.com

Yachad (Hebrew: יחד‎, lit., Together) is an Orthodox Jewish political party in Israel formed by former Shas member Eli Yishai.[4] The party combines certain groups of ultra-Orthodox Jews with some religious Zionists.

History[edit]

The party was established on 15 December 2014 following a rift between Shas leader Aryeh Deri and former Shas leader Eli Yishai.[4] The two had quarreled greatly after the death of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the spiritual leader of Shas. Former Jewish Home member Yoni Chetboun, of the strictly Orthodox wing of religious Zionism, announced on 14 December 2014 that he would join the party.[5]

Rabbi Meir Mazuz, the dean of the Kisse Rahamim yeshivah, is the party's spiritual leader.[6]

The party's name was not settled until it submitted its list of candidates for the 2015 elections, with early suggestions being Maran and HaAm Itanu (The Nation is with Us).[7][8]

On 29 January 2015, the party reached an agreement to run a joint list with the extreme right-wing Otzma Yehudit for the 2015 elections,[9][10] although it was widely expected they would break up their alliance after the election.[11] The electoral strategy to unite with the far right was criticized by Haredi activists who said the late Rabbi Ovadia Yosef would have never approved an alliance with Kahanists.[12][13]

The party failed to reach the minimum 3.25% electoral threshold, and failed to send any representatives to the Knesset.[14] In 2017, the party announced that they plan on contesting the next elections.[15]

In February 2019, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu encouraged Yachad to form a joint list with Otzma Yehudit, The Jewish Home and Tkuma, with Yishai promised a cabinet position if the deal went ahead. As conditions for the deal, Tkuma leader Bezalel Smotrich insisted on Yachad uniting with Tkuma and Jewish Home once elected to the Knesset, and both Smotrich and Jewish Home leader Rafi Peretz insisted on Yachad's Rabbi Meir Mazuz publishing a letter in support of the alliance.[16] Mazuz opposed staying united after the election due to the presence of female candidates on the lists of these two parties.[17] In addition, Yishai claimed Shas leader Aryeh Deri had threatened to veto a potential appointment of Yishai to the cabinet.[18] As a consequence, Yishai announced Yachad would run alone.[17] Netanyahu subsequently urged Mazuz to get Yishai to withdraw from the election.[19]

On 27 March 2019, Eli Yishai announced the withdrawal of Yachad from the 2019 elections and endorsed United Torah Judaism (UTJ) in exchange for UTJ pushing for his appointment to a position dealing with Haredi housing in a future government.[20][21]

Ideology[edit]

Yachad is a right-wing to far-right party,[22] which advocates for Israeli sovereignty over the West Bank, as well as the encouragement of settlement. The party has also asserted that ultra-Orthodox men who are not devoting themselves to full-time Torah study should be drafted into the military, as long as the military framework has adapted to their needs, or that they should perform national civilian service.[23] The party also opposes the egalitarian prayer space at the Western Wall.[24]

Leaders[edit]

Leader Took office Left office
Eli Yishai 2009.jpg Eli Yishai 2014 Incumbent

Election results[edit]

Knesset[edit]

Election year Party Leader # of overall votes % of overall vote # of overall seats
won
+/- Notes Gov?
2015[25] Eli Yishai (ran with Michael Ben-Ari) 125,158 2.97
0 / 120
Steady 0 Aligned with Otzma Yehudit. N/A
2019 Eli Yishai 25 0.0%
0 / 120
Steady 0 N/A N/A

References[edit]

  1. ^ Daniel Bernstein (26 February 2015). "Rabbis throw weight behind far-right Yachad party". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  2. ^ "Likud and Zionist Union still in close fight, polls find". The Times of Israel. 13 February 2015. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  3. ^ Yair Ettinger (19 December 2014). "Does Eli Yishai's party have a chance?". Haaretz. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  4. ^ a b "Ex-Shas MK Yishai called 'traitor' as he unveils new party". The Times of Israel. 15 December 2014. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  5. ^ "Jewish Home MK to join Eli Yishai's new party". The Times of Israel. 15 December 2014. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  6. ^ Yair Ettinger (22 December 2014). "Eli Yishai's mentor seeks meeting with Shas leader Deri". Haaretz. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  7. ^ "Veteran Shas MK Yishai splits, forms new party". The Times of Israel. 14 December 2014. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  8. ^ Ido Ben Porat; Cynthia Blank (22 January 2015). "Uri Ariel Calls for Otzma Yehudit and Ha'am Itanu to Unite]". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  9. ^ Jeremy Sharon (29 January 2015). "Yachad and Otzma end furious row and unite electoral lists". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  10. ^ Yair Ettinger (29 January 2015). "Eli Yishai and far-right Otzma LeYisrael party renew talks over joint ticket". Haaretz. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  11. ^ Raphael Ahren (18 February 2015). "The extremist who could bring Kahanism back to the Knesset". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  12. ^ "Israel election updates / Haredi activists blast Yishai for joining radical rightist Marzel". Haaretz. 8 March 2015. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  13. ^ Adiv Sterman; Daniel Bernstein (4 March 2015). "Haredi group decries far-rightist joining with Yishai". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  14. ^ Judah Ari Gross (19 March 2015). "Over 235,000 votes thrown in trash". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  15. ^ "Eli Yishai to run again for Knesset on Yahad list". Israel National News. Retrieved 31 October 2017.
  16. ^ "It's final: Eli Yishai's party won't run with Jewish Home". Arutz Sheva. 22 February 2019.
  17. ^ a b "Eli Yishai to run alone". Arutz Sheva. 21 February 2019.
  18. ^ "Yishai: Deri vetoed deal for me to run with Jewish Home". Arutz Sheva. 25 February 2019.
  19. ^ "Netanyahu Asks Rav Mazuz to Instruct Eli Yishai to Withdraw From The Election Race". Yeshiva World News. 10 March 2019.
  20. ^ Staff writer (27 March 2019). "Eli Yishai bows out, will support UTJ party". Israel National News. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  21. ^ Marissa Newman (27 March 2019). "Eli Yishai's Yachad party drops out of election race, boosting right". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  22. ^ "Rabbis throw weight behind far-right Yachad party". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 25 July 2017.
  23. ^ "Yachad". en.idi.org.il (in Hebrew). Retrieved 25 July 2017.
  24. ^ "Ex-Shas chief: Next, Reform Jews will be 'putting tefillin on dogs'". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 25 July 2017.
  25. ^ "ועדת הבחירות המרכזית לכנסת ה-20 | תוצאות ארציות".