Third Way (Ha-Derekh Ha-Shlishlit, in Hebrew)

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THIRD WAY (ha-Derekh ha-Shlishlit, in Hebrew)

Israeli political party, created on 13 February 1996, anticipating the Knesset elections for the following May. In fact, this group had been in existence since 1994, as a radical current within the Labor Party, headed by Avigdor Kahalani, Yehuda Harel, and Emanuel Zissman. Presenting itself at this time as a forum for reflection, this movement expressed its support for the peace process, under the condition that Israel maintained its control over the Occupied Territories. In January 1995, a "council" was formed within the movement, uniting many figures on the left and in the center, so as to promote the proposition of a referendum on the return of the Golan Heights to Syria. In the context of an eventual peace accord with Syria, Third Way favored keeping Israeli control over the Jewish villages that had been established in the Golan, as well as over water sources, and also a security line on the heights. As a result of the elections of 29 May 1996, Third Way won four seats, and its leader, Kahalani, was named internal security minister in the government led by the head of Likud, Benjamin Netanyahu. For the scheduled general elections of May 1999, the party did not succeed in constituting an electoral list; and most of its members threw their support to the new Center Party, headed by Yitzhak Mordechai, which allowed this bloc to obtain six seats. Not presenting itself at the elections, the Third Way disappeared from the Israeli political scene.

SEE ALSO Center Party;Golan Heights;Israel Labor Party;Kahalani, Avigdor;Netanyahu, Benjamin.