Moledet (Homeland, in Hebrew)
MOLEDET (Homeland, in Hebrew)
Israeli political party of the far right, created in 1988 by the former general Rehavam Zeʾevi, when the Intifada was in its early stages in the Occupied Territories. The Moledet, which upholds the ideology of "Greater Israel," preaches the "transfer" of the Arab population of the Occupied Territories to other Arab countries.
In the Knesset elections of June 1988, this party obtained two seats, filled by Rehavam Zeʾevi and Yaʾir Shprinzak. The following November, Zeʾevi was named minister without portfolio in the government of Yitzhak Shamir. Between 1989 and 1990, Moledet reproached the Israeli government for policies that were "too soft" in the Palestinian territories. In February 1992, for the next Knesset elections, the party allied with ha-Tehiyah. As a result of the ballot, in spite of the defeat of the Israeli right, Moledet strengthened its position, obtaining one more seat than it had in 1988, while ha-Tehiyah disappeared from the political arena altogether. The three Moledet MKs were Rehavam Zeʾevi, Rabbi Joseph Bagad, and Shaul Gutman. Between November 1995 and April 1996, Moledet was weakened by the departure of Gutman and Bagad, who, each in his turn, created their own groups: Yemin Israel and Moreshet Avot, respectively.
For the next Knesset elections Moledet teamed up with the extremist movement Zu Artzenu to constitute a common list. On 30 May 1996, as a result of the Knesset elections, Moledet obtained two seats (Zeʾevi, head of Moledet, and Rabbi Benyamin Alon, leader of Zu Artzenu). From 1997 on, the party started recruiting many of its cadres from the ranks of the Russian immigrants, disappointed in Israeli society, where they have problems fitting in. In February 1999, for the general elections of the following May, Moledet decided to join with the extreme right organization, Tekumah, whose key figure was Benny Begin, so as to constitute a common list, the "National Union." As a result of the ballot of 17 May, which saw the victory of the leader of the Labor Party, Ehud Barak, the National Union obtained four seats in the Knesset. In March 2001, when Ariel Sharon, leader of Likud, was elected prime minister, Rehavam Zeʾevi was named minister of tourism in the new government. On 17 October, following, while the Intifada was raging in the Palestinian territories, Zeʾevi was assassinated by a commando of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).