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Likud ( he, הַלִּיכּוּד,
translit. Transliteration is a type of conversion of a text from one script to another that involves swapping Letter (alphabet), letters (thus ''wikt:trans-#Prefix, trans-'' + ''wikt:littera#Latin, liter-'') in predictable ways, such as Greek → , Cyr ...
''HaLikud'', lit. ''The Consolidation''), officially known as Likud – National Liberal Movement, is the major
center-right Centre-right politics (British English British English (BrE) is the standard dialect of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval ...
to
right-wing Right-wing politics is generally defined by support of the view that certain social order The term social order can be used in two senses: In the first sense, it refers to a particular system of social structures and institution Instit ...
political party in
Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, translit=Yīsrāʾēl; ar, إِسْرَائِيل, translit=ʾIsrāʾīl), officially the State of Israel ( he, מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, label=none, translit=Medīnat Yīsrāʾēl; ), is a ...

Israel
. A
secular Secularity, also the secular or secularness (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through t ...
party, it was founded in 1973 by
Menachem Begin Menachem Begin ( ''Menaḥem Begin'' (); pl, Menachem Begin (Polish documents, 1931–1937); ''Menakhem Volfovich Begin''; 16 August 1913 – 9 March 1992) was an Israeli politician, founder of Likud and the List of Prime Ministers of Israel, ...

Menachem Begin
and
Ariel Sharon Ariel Sharon (; , ', also known by his diminutive A diminutive is a root word A root (or root word) is the core of a word that is irreducible into more meaningful elements. In morphology, a root is a morphologically simple unit which can ...

Ariel Sharon
in an alliance with several right-wing parties. Likud's landslide victory in the 1977 elections was a major turning point in the country's political history, marking the first time the left had lost power. In addition, it was the first time in Israel that a right-wing party won the plurality of the votes. However, after ruling the country for most of the 1980s, the party lost the Knesset election in 1992. Nevertheless, Likud's candidate
Benjamin Netanyahu Benjamin Netanyahu (; ; born 21 October 1949) is an Israeli politician serving as the since 2009, previously serving that role from 1996 to 1999. Netanyahu is also the . He is the Israeli prime minister in history and the first to be after ...

Benjamin Netanyahu
did win the vote for
Prime Minister A prime minister or a premier is the head of the cabinet Cabinet or The Cabinet may refer to: Furniture * Cabinetry, a box-shaped piece of furniture with doors and/or drawers * Display cabinet, a piece of furniture with one or more transpa ...
in
1996 1996 was designated as: * International Year for the Eradication of Poverty Events January * January 3 Events Pre-1600 * 69 – The Roman legions on the Rhine refuse to declare their allegiance to Galba Galba (; born Servius Sulpi ...
and was given the task of forming a government after the 1996 elections. Netanyahu's government fell apart after a vote of no confidence, which led to elections being called in
1999 1999 was designated as the International Year of Older PersonsIn its Proclamation on Aging, the United Nations General Assembly decided to declare 1999 as the International Year of Older Persons. The proclamation was launched on 1 October 1 ...
and Likud losing power to the
One Israel One Israel ( he, ישראל אחת, ''Yisrael Ahat'') was an alliance of the Labor Party Labour Party or Labor Party may refer to: Angola *MPLA, known for some years as "Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola – Labour Party" Antigua ...
coalition led by
Ehud Barak Ehud Barak ( he-a, אֵהוּד בָּרָק, Ehud_barak.ogg, link=yes, born Ehud Brog; 12 February 1942) is an Israeli general and politician who served as the tenth prime minister A prime minister or a premier is the head of the cabinet ...

Ehud Barak
. In 2001, Likud's
Ariel Sharon Ariel Sharon (; , ', also known by his diminutive A diminutive is a root word A root (or root word) is the core of a word that is irreducible into more meaningful elements. In morphology, a root is a morphologically simple unit which can ...

Ariel Sharon
, who replaced Netanyahu following the 1999 election, defeated Barak in an
election An election is a formal group decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual or multiple individuals to hold Public administration, public office. Elections have been the usual mechanism by which modern representative dem ...
called by the Prime Minister following his resignation. After the party recorded a convincing win in the
2003 elections The following elections occurred in the year 2003. Africa * 2003 Beninese parliamentary election * 2003 Djiboutian parliamentary election * 2003 Guinean presidential election * 2003 Mauritanian presidential election * 2003 Nigerian parliamentary e ...
, Likud saw a major split in 2005 when Sharon left to form the
Kadima Kadima ( he, קדימה, lit=''Forward'') was a Centrism, centrist and Liberalism, liberal List of political parties in Israel, political party in Israel. It was established on 24 November 2005 by moderates from Likud largely following the imple ...
party. This resulted in Likud slumping to fourth place in the 2006 elections and losing 28 seats in the Knesset. Following the 2009 elections, Likud was able to gain 15 seats, and, with Netanyahu back in control of the party, formed a coalition with fellow right-wing parties
Yisrael Beiteinu Yisrael Beiteinu ( he, יִשְׂרָאֵל בֵּיתֵנוּ, russian: Наш Дом Израиль, lit. ''Israel Our Home'') is a secularist, nationalist right-wing political party A political party is an organization that coordinates ...
and
Shas Shas ( he, ש״ס) is a Haredi Haredi Judaism ( he, יהדות חֲרֵדִית ', ; also spelled ''Charedi'' in English; plural ''Haredim'' or ''Charedim'') consists of groups within Orthodox Judaism Orthodox Judaism is the collective te ...
to take control of the government from Kadima, which earned a plurality, but not a majority. Netanyahu served as prime minister from then until 2021. Likud had been the leading vote-getter in each subsequent election until April 2019, when Likud tied with Blue and White and September 2019, when Blue and White won one more seat than the Likud. Likud won the most seats and votes at the
2020 2020 was heavily defined by the COVID-19 pandemic The COVID-19 pandemic is an ongoing global pandemic A pandemic (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ε ...
and 2021 elections, but Netanyahu was removed from power in June 2021 by an unprecedented coalition led by
Yair Lapid Yair Lapid ( he, יאיר לפיד; born 5 November 1963) is an Israeli politician and former journalist serving as chairman of the Yesh Atid party and opposition leader in the Knesset The Knesset ( he, הַכְּנֶסֶת ; "gathering ...
and
Naftali Bennett Naftali Bennett ( he, נַפְתָּלִי בֶּנֶט, ; born 25 March 1972) is an Israeli politician serving as the 13th and current prime minister of Israel The Prime Minister of Israel ( he, רֹאשׁ הַמֶּמְשָׁלָה, Ros ...

Naftali Bennett
. A member of the party is called a Likudnik ( he, לִכּוּדְנִיק).


History


Formation and Begin years

The Likud was formed as a
secular Secularity, also the secular or secularness (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through t ...

secular
party by an alliance of several right-wing parties prior to the 1973 elections
Herut , Esther Raziel Naor, and Menachem Begin Menachem Begin ( ''Menaḥem Begin'' (); (Polish birth name), pl, Menachem Begin (Polish documents, 1931–1937); ''Menakhem Volfovich Begin''; 16 August 1913 – 9 March 1992) was an Israeli politic ...
, the
Liberal Party The Liberal Party is any of many political parties A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a particular country's elections. It is common for the members of a party to hold similar ideas about politics, ...
, the , the
National List The National List ( he, רשימה ממלכתית, ''Reshima Mamlakhtit''), sometimes translated as the State List, was a List of political parties, political party in Israel. Despite being founded by David Ben-Gurion, one of the fathers of the I ...
, and the
Movement for Greater Israel The Movement for Greater Israel ( he, התנועה למען ארץ ישראל השלמה, ''HaTenu'a Lema'an Eretz Yisrael HaSheleima'', officially called themselves in English ''Land of Israel Movement'') was a political organisation in Israel duri ...
. Herut had been the nation's largest right-wing party since growing out of the
Irgun The Irgun ( he, ארגון; full title: he, הארגון הצבאי הלאומי בארץ ישראל ', lit. "The National Military Organization in the Land of Israel") was a Zionism, Zionist paramilitary organization that operated in Mandatory P ...

Irgun
in 1948. It had already been in coalition with the Liberals since 1965 as
Gahal Gahal ( he, גח"ל, an acronym for ''Gush Herut–Liberalim'' (Hebrew: ), ''lit.'' ''Freedom–Liberals Bloc'') was the main right Rights are legal Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elemen ...
, with Herut as the senior partner. Herut remained the senior partner in the new grouping, which was given the name Likud, meaning "Consolidation", as it represented the consolidation of the Israeli right. It worked as a coalition under Herut's leadership until 1988, when the member parties merged into a single party under the Likud name. From its establishment in 1973, Likud enjoyed great support from blue-collar
Sephardim Sephardi Jews, also known as Sephardic Jews, ''Sephardim'',, Modern Hebrew: ''Sefaraddim'', Tiberian: Səp̄āraddîm, also , ''Ye'hude Sepharad'', lit. "The Jews of Spain", es, Judíos sefardíes (or ), pt, Judeus sefarditas or Hispanic Jew ...
who felt discriminated against by the ruling
Alignment Alignment may refer to: Archaeology * Alignment (archaeology), a co-linear arrangement of features or structures with external landmarks * Stone alignment, a linear arrangement of upright, parallel megalithic standing stones Biology * Structura ...
. Likud made a strong showing in its first elections in 1973, reducing the Alignment's lead to 12 seats. The party went on to win the 1977 elections, finishing 11 seats ahead of the Alignment. Begin was able to form a government with the support of the religious parties, consigning the left-wing to opposition for the first time since independence. A former leader of the hard-line paramilitary
Irgun The Irgun ( he, ארגון; full title: he, הארגון הצבאי הלאומי בארץ ישראל ', lit. "The National Military Organization in the Land of Israel") was a Zionism, Zionist paramilitary organization that operated in Mandatory P ...

Irgun
, Begin helped initiate the peace process with
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identi ...

Egypt
, which resulted in the 1978
Camp David Accords The Camp David Accords were a pair of political agreements signed by President of Egypt, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Prime Minister of Israel, Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin on 17 September 1978, following twelve days of secret ne ...
and the 1979 . Likud was reelected with a significantly reduced mandate in
1981 Events January * January 1 January 1 or 1 January is the first day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. There are 364 days remaining until the end of the year (365 in leap years). This day is known as New Year's Day since the day ...
. Likud has long been a loose alliance between politicians committed to different and sometimes opposing policy preferences and ideologies. The 1981 elections highlighted divisions that existed between the populist wing of Likud, headed by
David LevyDavid Levy may refer to: * David A. Levy (born 1953), U.S. Representative from New York * David Benjamin Levy (fl. 2000s), American musicologist * David H. Levy (born 1948), Canadian astronomer and science writer * David Levy Yulee (1810–1886), De ...
of Herut, and the Liberal wing, who represented a policy agenda of the secular bourgeoisie.


Shamir, Netanyahu's first term, and Sharon

Begin resigned in October 1983 and was succeeded as Likud leader and Prime Minister by
Yitzhak Shamir Yitzhak Shamir ( he, יצחק שמיר, ; born Yitzhak Yezernitsky; October 22, 1915 – June 30, 2012) was an State of Israel, Israeli politician and the List of Prime Ministers of Israel, seventh Prime Minister of Israel, serving two terms, 1983 ...

Yitzhak Shamir
. Shamir, a former commander of the Lehi underground, was widely seen as a hard-liner with an ideological commitment both to the settlements in the
West Bank The West Bank ( ar, الضفة الغربية '; he, הגדה המערבית ' or ') is a landlocked territory near the Mediterranean coast of Western Asia, bordered by Jordan and the Dead Sea to the east and by Israel to the south, west a ...
and
Gaza Strip The Gaza Strip (;The New Oxford Dictionary of English (1998) – p.761 "Gaza Strip /'gɑːzə/ a strip of territory under the control of the Palestinian National Authority and Hamas, on the SE Mediterranean coast including the town of Gaza.. ...
, the growth of which he encouraged, and to the idea of ''
aliyah Aliyah (, ; he, עֲלִיָּה ''aliyah'', "ascent") is the immigration of Jews from the Jewish diaspora, diaspora to the Land of Israel historically, which today includes the modern State of Israel. Also defined as "the act of going up"—th ...
'', facilitating the mass immigration of Jews to Israel from
Ethiopia Ethiopia, officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the ...

Ethiopia
and the former
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a that spanned during its existence from 1922 to 1991. It was nominally a of multiple national ; in practice and were highly until its final years. The ...
. Although Shamir lost the 1984 election, the Alignment was unable to form a government on its own. Likud and the Alignment thus formed a national unity government, with Peres as Prime Minister and Shamir as foreign minister. After two years, Peres and Shamir switched posts. This government remained in power through 1990, when the Alignment pulled out and Shamir stitched together a right-wing coalition that held on until its defeat in 1992 by Labor. Shamir retired shortly after losing the election. His successor, Benjamin Netanyahu, became the third Likud Prime Minister in May 1996, following the assassination of
Yitzhak Rabin Yitzhak Rabin (; he, יִצְחָק רַבִּין, ; 1 March 1922 – 4 November 1995) was an Israeli politician, statesman and general. He was the fifth Prime Minister of Israel, serving two terms in office, 1974–77, and from 1992 until h ...

Yitzhak Rabin
. Netanyahu proved to be less hard-line in practice than he made himself out to be rhetorically, and felt pressured by the United States and others to enter negotiations with the
Palestine Liberation Organization The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO; ar, منظمة التحرير الفلسطينية, ') is an organization founded in 1964 with the purpose of the Arab unity and the liberation of Palestine. It is recognized as the sole legitimate ...
and
Yasser Arafat Mohammed Yasser Abdel Rahman Abdel Raouf Arafat al-Qudwa al-Husseini ( , ; ar, محمد ياسر عبد الرحمن عبد الرؤوف عرفات القدوة الحسيني; 4 / 24 August 1929 – 11 November 2004), popularly known as Yass ...

Yasser Arafat
, despite his harsh criticism of the Oslo accords and hawkish stance in comparison to Labor. In 1998, Netanyahu reluctantly agreed to cede territory in the
Wye River Memorandum The Wye River Memorandum was an agreement negotiated between Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל; ar, إِسْرَائِيل), officially known as the State of Israel ( he, מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, '), is a country ...
. While accepted by many in the Likud, some Likud MKs, led by
Benny Begin Ze'ev Binyamin "Benny" Begin, (, born 1 March 1943) is an Israeli geologist and politician. He is a member of the Knesset for New Hope (Israel), New Hope, having previously served as a member for Likud and Herut – The National Movement. He is t ...
(Menachem Begin's son),
Michael Kleiner Michael Kleiner ( he, מיכאל קליינר; born 4 April 1948) is an Israeli politician and was the leader of Herut – The National Movement He is currently the President of the Supreme Court of the Israeli Likud party. Biography Michael Kle ...
and David Re'em, broke away and formed a new party, named
Herut – The National Movement Herut – The National Movement ( he, חרות – התנועה הלאומית, ''Herut – HaTnu'a HaLeumit''), commonly known as just Herut (), was a minor right-wing Right-wing politics embraces the view that certain social orders and Soc ...
, in protest. Yitzhak Shamir (who had expressed harsh disappointment in Netanyahu's leadership), gave the new party his support. Less than a year afterward, Netanyahu's coalition collapsed, resulting in the 1999 election and Labor's
Ehud Barak Ehud Barak ( he-a, אֵהוּד בָּרָק, Ehud_barak.ogg, link=yes, born Ehud Brog; 12 February 1942) is an Israeli general and politician who served as the tenth prime minister A prime minister or a premier is the head of the cabinet ...

Ehud Barak
winning the premiership on a platform of immediate settlement of final status issues. Likud spent 1999–2001 on the opposition benches. Barak's "all-or-nothing" strategy failed, however, and early elections for Prime Minister were called for March 2001. Surprisingly, Netanyahu declined to be the Likud candidate for Prime Minister, meaning that the fourth Likud premier would be Ariel Sharon. Sharon, unlike past Likud leaders, had been raised in a Labor Zionist environment and had long been seen as something of a maverick. In the face of the
Second Intifada The Second Intifada ( ar, الانتفاضة الثانية ''Al-Intifada al-Thaniya''; he, האינתיפאדה השנייה ''Ha-Intifāda ha-Shniya''), also known as the Al-Aqsa Intifada ( ar, انتفاضة الأقصى '), was a Pales ...
, Sharon pursued a varied set of policies, many of which were controversial even within the Likud. The final split came when Sharon announced his policy of unilateral disengagement from Gaza and parts of the West Bank. The idea proved extremely divisive within the party.


Kadima split

Sharon's perceived shift to the political center, especially in his execution of the Disengagement Plan, alienated him from some Likud supporters and fragmented the party. He faced several serious challenges to his authority shortly before his departure. The first was in March 2005, when he and Netanyahu proposed a budget plan that met fierce opposition, though it was eventually approved. The second was in September 2005, when Sharon's critics in Likud forced a vote on a proposal for an early leadership election, which was defeated by 52% to 48%. In October, Sharon's opponents within the Likud Knesset faction joined with the opposition to prevent the appointment of two of his associates to the Cabinet, demonstrating that Sharon had effectively lost control of the Knesset and that the 2006 budget was unlikely to pass. The next month,
Labor Labour or labor may refer to: * , the delivery of a baby * , or work ** , physical work ** , a socioeconomic relationship between a worker and an employer Literature * , an American quarterly on the history of the labor movement * ', an academic ...
announced its withdrawal from Sharon's governing coalition following its election of the left-wing
Amir Peretz Amir Peretz ( he, עָמִיר פֶּרֶץ; born on 9 March 1952) is an Israeli politician who served as a member of the Knesset of the Israeli Labor Party, Labor Party. He is currently serving as Israel's Ministry of Economy (Israel), Minist ...
as leader. On 21 November 2005, Sharon announced he would be leaving Likud and forming a new centrist party,
Kadima Kadima ( he, קדימה, lit=''Forward'') was a Centrism, centrist and Liberalism, liberal List of political parties in Israel, political party in Israel. It was established on 24 November 2005 by moderates from Likud largely following the imple ...
. The new party included both Likud and Labor supporters of unilateral disengagement. Sharon also announced that elections would take place in early 2006. As of 21 November seven candidates had declared themselves as contenders to replace Sharon as leader: Netanyahu,
Uzi Landau Uzi Landau ( he, עוזי לנדאו, born 2 August 1943) is an Israeli politician and systems analystA systems analyst, also known as business technology analyst, is an information technology (IT) professional who specializes in analyzing, desi ...
,
Shaul Mofaz Shaul Mofaz ( he, שאול מופז; 4 November 1948) is an Israeli former soldier and politician. He joined the Israel Defense Forces in 1966 and served in the Paratroopers Brigade. He fought in the Six-Day War, Yom Kippur War, 1982 Lebanon War, ...

Shaul Mofaz
, Yisrael Katz,
Silvan Shalom Zion Silvan Shalom ( he, ציון סילבן שלום, born 4 August 1958) is an Israeli politician who served as a member of the Knesset for Likud Likud ( he, הַלִּיכּוּד, translit. ''HaLikud'', lit. ''The Consolidation''), offic ...

Silvan Shalom
and
Moshe Feiglin Moshe Zalman Feiglin ( he, מֹשֶׁה זַלְמָן פֶייגְּלִין, born 31 July 1962) is an Israeli politician and activist, and the leader of libertarian Zionist party Zehut. A former member of Likud, he headed the Manhigut Yehudit (' ...

Moshe Feiglin
. Landau and Mofaz later withdrew, the former in favour of Netanyahu and the latter to join Kadima.


Netanyahu's second term

Netanyahu went on to win the chairmanship elections in December, obtaining 44.4% of the vote. Shalom came in a second with 33%, leading Netanyahu to guarantee him second place on the party's list of Knesset candidates. Shalom's perceived moderation on social and foreign-policy issues were considered to be an electoral asset. Observers noted that voter turnout in the elections was particularly low in comparison with past primaries, with less than 40 percent of the 128,000 party members casting ballots. There was much media focus on far-right candidate
Moshe Feiglin Moshe Zalman Feiglin ( he, מֹשֶׁה זַלְמָן פֶייגְּלִין, born 31 July 1962) is an Israeli politician and activist, and the leader of libertarian Zionist party Zehut. A former member of Likud, he headed the Manhigut Yehudit (' ...

Moshe Feiglin
achieving 12.4% of votes. The founding of Kadima was a major challenge to the Likud's generation-long status as one of Israel's two major parties. Sharon's perceived centrist policies have drawn considerable popular support as reflected by public opinion polls. The Likud is now led by figures who oppose further unilateral evacuations, and its standing in the polls has suffered. After the founding of Kadima, Likud came to be seen as having more of a right-wing tendency than a moderate centre-right one. However, there exist several parties in the Knesset even more right-wing than the post-Ariel Sharon Likud. Prior to the 2006 election, the party's Central Committee relinquished control of selecting the Knesset list to the "rank and file" members at Netanyahu's behest. The aim was to improve the party's reputation, as the central committee had gained a reputation for corruption. In the election, the Likud vote collapsed in the face of the Kadima split. Other right-wing nationalist parties such as
Yisrael Beiteinu Yisrael Beiteinu ( he, יִשְׂרָאֵל בֵּיתֵנוּ, russian: Наш Дом Израиль, lit. ''Israel Our Home'') is a secularist, nationalist right-wing political party A political party is an organization that coordinates ...
gained votes, with Likud coming only fourth place in the popular vote, edging out Yisrael Beiteinu by only 116 votes. With only twelve seats, Likud was tied with the
Shas Shas ( he, ש״ס) is a Haredi Haredi Judaism ( he, יהדות חֲרֵדִית ', ; also spelled ''Charedi'' in English; plural ''Haredim'' or ''Charedim'') consists of groups within Orthodox Judaism Orthodox Judaism is the collective te ...
for the status of third-largest party. In the 2009 Israeli legislative election, Likud won 27 seats, a close second-place finish to Kadima's 28 seats, and leading the other parties. After more than a month of coalition negotiations, Benjamin Netanyahu was able to form a government and become Prime Minister. "
Pride in the Likud Likud Pride ( he, גאווה בליכוד, Ga'ava BaLikud) is a LGBT conservatism, conservative LGBT organization founded in 2011 and linked to the State of Israel, Israeli right-wing Likud party. The group's chairman, who is also one of its foun ...
", a political advocacy group of LGBT conservatives affiliated with the party, was founded in 2011. Following the appointment of
Amir Ohana Amir Ohana ( he, אָמִיר אוֹחָנָה, born 15 March 1976) is an Israeli lawyer, former Shin Bet official and politician who currently serves as Ministry of Public Security (Israel), Minister of Public Security and a member of the Knesse ...

Amir Ohana
as the Likud's first openly gay member in the
Knesset The Knesset ( he, הַכְּנֶסֶת ; "gathering" or "assembly") is the unicameral In government, unicameralism (Latin , "one" and , "chamber") is the practice of having a single legislative or legislative chamber, parliamentary chamber ...

Knesset
, in December 2015, Netanyahu said he was "proud" to welcome him into parliament. A
leadership electionA leadership election is a political contest held in various countries by which the members of a political party A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a country's elections. It is common for the members ...
was held on 31 January 2012, with Netanyahu defeating Feiglin.


Partnership with Yisrael Beiteinu

On 25 October 2012, Netanyahu and
Avigdor Lieberman Avigdor Lieberman (, , , russian: Эве́т Льво́вич Ли́берман, , 5 July 1958) is a Soviet-born Israeli politician who served as the Defense Minister of Israel from 2016 to 2018; on 14 November 2018, he resigned because of Gaz ...

Avigdor Lieberman
announced that their respective political parties, Likud and
Yisrael Beiteinu Yisrael Beiteinu ( he, יִשְׂרָאֵל בֵּיתֵנוּ, russian: Наш Дом Израиль, lit. ''Israel Our Home'') is a secularist, nationalist right-wing political party A political party is an organization that coordinates ...
, would run together on a single ballot in Israel's 2013 parliamentary election. "A joining of forces will give us the strength to defend Israel from military threats, and the strength to spearhead social and economic changes in the country", Netanyahu said. In January 2013, Lieberman said the Yisrael Beitinu merge with the Likud party will end within one month of the election. The Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu merger led to speculation that Lieberman would eventually seek the leadership of Likud. "Every soldier must strive to be chief of staff, just as every politician wants, eventually, to stand at the top of the system. I'm not obsessed with this, but that is my goal", Lieberman said. In the 2013 election, the Likud-Yisrael Beiteninu alliance won 31 seats, 20 of which were Likud members. Netanyahu continued as Prime Minister after forming a coalition with
Yesh Atid Yesh Atid ( he, יֵשׁ עָתִיד, , There Is a Future) is a Liberalism, liberal List of political parties in Israel, political party in Israel. Founded by Yair Lapid in 2012, it seeks to represent what it considers the centre of Israeli soc ...
,
the Jewish Home The Jewish Home ( he, הַבַּיִת הַיְהוּדִי, ''HaBayit HaYehudi'') is an Orthodox Judaism, Orthodox Jewish and Religious Zionism, religious Zionist political party in Israel. It was originally formed by a merger of the National R ...
and
Hatnuah Hatnua ( he, הַתְּנוּעָה, lit=''The Movement'') was a liberal political party in Israel formed by former Israeli Foreign Minister A foreign affairs minister or minister of foreign affairs (less commonly minister for foreign affairs ...
. The electoral alliance was unpopular among both Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu. In November 2013, it was reported that both parties would be holding discussions on whether to end their partnership. According to ''
Haaretz ''Haaretz'' ( , originally ''Ḥadshot Haaretz'' – , in English ''The Palestine News'') is an Israeli newspaper. It was founded in 1918, making it the longest running newspaper currently in print in Israel, and is now published in both He ...
,'' "the alliance stoked anger among senior Likud politicians, both because of the historic change and the high price the party ostensibly paid...." Efforts by Yisrael Beitenu to formally merge with Likud after the election were rebuffed by Likud activists who worried about the effect an influx of organized new power centers could have on their own influence in the ruling party.


2019–2021 elections

During the course of the
April 2019 Israeli legislative election Early legislative elections were held in Israel on 9 April 2019 to elect the 120 members of the 21st Knesset. Elections had been due in November 2019, but were brought forward following a dispute between members of the current government over ...
campaign, Likud facilitated the formation of the Union of Right-Wing Parties between the
Jewish Home The Jewish Home ( he, הַבַּיִת הַיְהוּדִי, ''HaBayit HaYehudi'') is an Orthodox Jewish Orthodox Judaism is the collective term for the traditionalist branches of contemporary Judaism. Theologically, it is chiefly defined b ...
, Tkuma and
Otzma Yehudit Otzma Yehudit ( he, עוֹצְמָה יְהוּדִית; lit., ''Jewish Power'' or ''Jewish Strength'') is a far-right political party A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a country's elections. It ...
by providing a slot on its own electoral list to Jewish Home candidate . In the aftermath of the election,
Kulanu Kulanu ( he, כולנו, lit. ''All of Us'') is a centrist political party A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a country's elections. It is common for the members of a political party to have sim ...
merged into Likud. During the
September 2019 Israeli legislative election Snap election, Snap legislative elections were held in Israel on 17 September 2019 to elect the 120 members of the 22nd Knesset. Following the April 2019 Israeli legislative election, previous elections in April, incumbent Prime Minister of Israe ...
campaign, Likud agreed to a deal with
Zehut Zehut () is a right-libertarian and nationalist Nationalism is an idea and movement that promotes the interests of a particular nation (as in a in-group and out-group, group of people),Anthony D. Smith, Smith, Anthony. ''Nationalism: Theo ...
, whereby the latter party would drop out of the election and endorse Likud in exchange for a ministerial post for its leader,
Moshe Feiglin Moshe Zalman Feiglin ( he, מֹשֶׁה זַלְמָן פֶייגְּלִין, born 31 July 1962) is an Israeli politician and activist, and the leader of libertarian Zionist party Zehut. A former member of Likud, he headed the Manhigut Yehudit (' ...

Moshe Feiglin
, as well as policy concessions. Prior to the 2020 Israeli legislative election,
Gideon Sa'ar Gideon Moshe Sa'ar ( he, גִּדְעוֹן סַעַר; born 9 December 1966) is an Israeli politician who served as a member of the Knesset for the Likud between 2003 and 2014, and was the Ministry of Education (Israel), Education Minister and a ...
unsuccessfully challenged Netanyahu for the Likud leadership. In December of that year, Sa'ar left Likud, along with four other Likud MKs, to form New Hope. Prior to the
2021 Israeli legislative election Legislative elections were held in Israel on 23 March 2021 to elect the 120 List of members of the twenty-fourth Knesset, members of the 24th Knesset. It was the fourth election in two years. Background According to the coalition agreement si ...
, Gesher merged into Likud, receiving a slot on its electoral list. Likud also facilitated the formation of a joint list between the
Religious Zionist Party The Religious Zionist Party ( he, הציונות הדתית, ''HaTzionut HaDatit''; literally, The Religious Zionism), formerly known as Tkuma ( he, תקומה, literally, "Revival"), until 2021 and officially still known as National Union–Tkum ...
,
Otzma Yehudit Otzma Yehudit ( he, עוֹצְמָה יְהוּדִית; lit., ''Jewish Power'' or ''Jewish Strength'') is a far-right political party A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a country's elections. It ...
and
Noam Noam ( he, נועם) is a Hebrew name which means "pleasantness", and while started as the male version of the female ''No'omi'' (English: "Naomi (given name), Naomi" or "Noémie"), today, it is a very common Hebrew name for both males and females ...
by providing the Religious Zionist Party a slot on the Likud list. On 14 June, after the swearing-in of the 36th government, Ofir Sofer who held the slot, split from the Likud faction and returned to the Religious Zionist Party, decreasing the Likud faction by one to 29 seats in the Knesset.


Ideological positions

Likud emphasizes national security policy based on a strong military force when threatened with continued enmity against Israel. It has shown reluctance to negotiate with its neighbors whom it believes continue to seek the destruction of the Jewish state, that based on the Begin Doctrine, principle of the party founder Menachem Begin concerning the preventive policy to any potential attacks on State of Israel. Its suspicion of neighboring Arab nations' intentions, however, has not prevented the party from reaching agreements with the Arabs, such as the 1979 peace treaty with Egypt. Likud's willingness to enter mutually accepted agreements with the Arabs over the years is related to the formation of other right-wing parties. Like other right-wing parties in Israel, Likud politicians have sometimes criticized particular Supreme Court decisions, but it remains committed to rule of law principles that it hopes to entrench in a written constitution. , the party remains divided between moderates and hard-liners. Likud is considered to be the leading party in the national camp in Israeli politics.


Platform

* The 1999 Likud Party platform emphasizes the right of settlement. "The Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza are the realization of Zionist values. Settlement of the land is a clear expression of the unassailable right of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel and constitutes an important asset in the defense of the vital interests of the State of Israel. The Likud will continue to strengthen and develop these communities and will prevent their uprooting." Similarly, they claim the Jordan River as the permanent eastern border to Israel and it also claims Jerusalem as belonging to Israel. * The 'Peace & Security' chapter of the 1999 Likud Party platform rejects a Palestinian state. "The Government of Israel flatly rejects the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan river. The Palestinians can run their lives freely in the framework of self-rule, but not as an independent and sovereign state. Thus, for example, in matters of foreign affairs, security, immigration, and ecology, their activity shall be limited in accordance with imperatives of Israel's existence, security and national needs." With Likud back in power, starting in 2009, Israeli foreign policy is still under review. Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu, in his "National Security" platform, neither endorsed nor ruled out the idea of a Palestinian state. "Netanyahu has hinted that he does not oppose the creation of a Palestinian state, but aides say he must move cautiously because his religious-nationalist coalition partners refuse to give away land." On 14 June 2009, Netanyahu delivered a speech at Bar-Ilan University (also known as "Bar-Ilan Speech"), at Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, that was broadcast live in Israel and across parts of the Arab world, on the topic of the Middle East peace process. He endorsed for the first time the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel, with several conditions. However, on 16 March 2015, Netanyahu stated in the affirmative, that if he were elected, a Palestinian state would not be created. Netanyahu argued, "anyone who goes to create today a Palestinian state and turns over land, is turning over land that will be used as a launching ground for attacks by Islamist extremists against the State of Israel." Some take these statements to mean that Netanyahu and Likud oppose a Palestinian state. After having been criticised by U.S. White House Spokesperson Josh Earnest for the "divisive rhetoric" of his election campaign, on 19 March 2015, Netanyahu retreated to "I don't want a one-state solution. I want a peaceful, sustainable two-state solution. I have not changed my policy." The Likud Constitution of May 2014 is more vague and ambiguous. Though it contains commitments to the strengthening of Jewish settlement in the
West Bank The West Bank ( ar, الضفة الغربية '; he, הגדה המערבית ' or ') is a landlocked territory near the Mediterranean coast of Western Asia, bordered by Jordan and the Dead Sea to the east and by Israel to the south, west a ...
, it does not explicitly rule out the establishment of a Palestinian state.


Economy

The Likud party claims to support a free market capitalist and Economic liberalism, liberal agenda, though, in practice, it has mostly adopted mixed economy, mixed economic policies. Under the guidance of Finance minister and current party leader
Benjamin Netanyahu Benjamin Netanyahu (; ; born 21 October 1949) is an Israeli politician serving as the since 2009, previously serving that role from 1996 to 1999. Netanyahu is also the . He is the Israeli prime minister in history and the first to be after ...

Benjamin Netanyahu
, Likud pushed through legislation reducing value added tax (VAT), income and corporate taxes significantly, as well as customs duty. Likewise, it has instituted free trade (especially with the European Union and the United States) and dismantled certain monopolies (Bezeq and the seaports). Additionally, it has privatized numerous government-owned companies, e. g., El Al and Bank Leumi, and has moved to privatize land in Israel, which until now has been held symbolically by the state in the name of the Jewish people. Netanyahu was the most ardent free-market Israeli finance minister to date. He argued that Israel's largest trade union, labor union, the Histadrut, has so much power as to be capable of paralyzing the Israeli economy, and claimed that the main causes of unemployment are laziness and excessive benefits to the unemployed." Under Netanyahu, Likud has and is likely to maintain a comparatively fiscal conservatism, fiscally conservative economic stance. However, the party's economic policies vary widely among members, with some Likud MKs supporting more leftist economic positions that are more in line with popular preferences.


Palestinians

Likud has historically espoused opposition to Palestinian statehood and support of Israeli settlements in the
West Bank The West Bank ( ar, الضفة الغربية '; he, הגדה המערבית ' or ') is a landlocked territory near the Mediterranean coast of Western Asia, bordered by Jordan and the Dead Sea to the east and by Israel to the south, west a ...
and
Gaza Strip The Gaza Strip (;The New Oxford Dictionary of English (1998) – p.761 "Gaza Strip /'gɑːzə/ a strip of territory under the control of the Palestinian National Authority and Hamas, on the SE Mediterranean coast including the town of Gaza.. ...
. However, it has also been the party that carried out the first peace agreements with Arab states. For instance, in 1979, Likud Prime Minister
Menachem Begin Menachem Begin ( ''Menaḥem Begin'' (); pl, Menachem Begin (Polish documents, 1931–1937); ''Menakhem Volfovich Begin''; 16 August 1913 – 9 March 1992) was an Israeli politician, founder of Likud and the List of Prime Ministers of Israel, ...

Menachem Begin
signed the
Camp David Accords The Camp David Accords were a pair of political agreements signed by President of Egypt, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Prime Minister of Israel, Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin on 17 September 1978, following twelve days of secret ne ...
with
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identi ...

Egypt
ian President Anwar al-Sadat, which returned the Sinai Peninsula (occupied by Israel in the Six-Day War of 1967) to Egypt in return for peace between the two countries.
Yitzhak Shamir Yitzhak Shamir ( he, יצחק שמיר, ; born Yitzhak Yezernitsky; October 22, 1915 – June 30, 2012) was an State of Israel, Israeli politician and the List of Prime Ministers of Israel, seventh Prime Minister of Israel, serving two terms, 1983 ...

Yitzhak Shamir
was the first Israeli Prime Minister to meet Palestinian leaders at the Madrid Conference of 1991, Madrid Conference following the Gulf War, Persian Gulf War in 1991. However, Shamir refused to concede the idea of a Palestinian state, and as a result was blamed by some (including United States Secretary of State James Baker) for the failure of the summit. On 14 June 2009, as Prime Minister Netanyahu gave a speech at Bar-Ilan University in which he endorsed a "Demilitarized Palestinian State", though said that Jerusalem must remain the unified capital of Israel. In 2002, during the
Second Intifada The Second Intifada ( ar, الانتفاضة الثانية ''Al-Intifada al-Thaniya''; he, האינתיפאדה השנייה ''Ha-Intifāda ha-Shniya''), also known as the Al-Aqsa Intifada ( ar, انتفاضة الأقصى '), was a Pales ...
, Israel's Likud-led government reoccupied Palestinian towns and Palestinian refugee camp, refugee camps in the West Bank. In 2005,
Ariel Sharon Ariel Sharon (; , ', also known by his diminutive A diminutive is a root word A root (or root word) is the core of a word that is irreducible into more meaningful elements. In morphology, a root is a morphologically simple unit which can ...

Ariel Sharon
defied the recent tendencies of Likud and abandoned the policy of seeking to settle in the West Bank and Gaza. Though re-elected Prime Minister on a platform of no unilateral withdrawals, Sharon carried out the Israeli unilateral disengagement plan, Gaza disengagement plan, withdrawing from the
Gaza Strip The Gaza Strip (;The New Oxford Dictionary of English (1998) – p.761 "Gaza Strip /'gɑːzə/ a strip of territory under the control of the Palestinian National Authority and Hamas, on the SE Mediterranean coast including the town of Gaza.. ...
, as well as four settlements in the northern West Bank. Though losing a referendum among Likud registered voters, Sharon achieved government approval of this policy by firing most of the cabinet members who opposed the plan before the vote. Sharon and the faction who supported his disengagement proposals left the Likud party after the disengagement and created the new
Kadima Kadima ( he, קדימה, lit=''Forward'') was a Centrism, centrist and Liberalism, liberal List of political parties in Israel, political party in Israel. It was established on 24 November 2005 by moderates from Likud largely following the imple ...
party. This new party supported unilateral disengagement from most of the West Bank and the fixing of borders by the Israeli West Bank barrier. The basic premise of the policy was that the Israelis have no viable negotiating partner on the Palestinian side, and since they cannot remain in indefinite occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, Israel should unilaterally withdraw. Netanyahu, who was elected as the new leader of Likud after Kadima's creation, and
Silvan Shalom Zion Silvan Shalom ( he, ציון סילבן שלום, born 4 August 1958) is an Israeli politician who served as a member of the Knesset for Likud Likud ( he, הַלִּיכּוּד, translit. ''HaLikud'', lit. ''The Consolidation''), offic ...

Silvan Shalom
, the runner-up, both supported the disengagement plan; however, Netanyahu resigned his ministerial post before the plan was executed. Most current Likud members support the Jewish settlements in the West Bank and oppose Palestinian statehood and the disengagement from Gaza. Although settlement activity has continued under recent Likud governments, much of the activity outside the major settlement blocs has been to accommodate
the Jewish Home The Jewish Home ( he, הַבַּיִת הַיְהוּדִי, ''HaBayit HaYehudi'') is an Orthodox Judaism, Orthodox Jewish and Religious Zionism, religious Zionist political party in Israel. It was originally formed by a merger of the National R ...
, a coalition partner; support within Likud to build outside the blocs is not particularly strong. In the 2019 election, Likud was widely criticized as a "racist party" after scaremongering anti-Arab rhetoric by its members as well as Netanyahu who claimed minority Arabs and Palestinians in Israel as "threats" and "enemies,".Netanyahu Sparks Outrage Over Pact With Racist Party
''New York Times''


Culture

Likud generally advocates free enterprise and nationalism, but it has sometimes compromised these ideals in practice, especially as its constituency has changed. Its support for populist economic programs are at odds with its free enterprise tradition, but are meant to serve its largely nationalistic, lower-income voters in small towns and urban neighborhoods. On Separation of church and state, religion and state, Likud has a moderate stance, and supports the preservation of Status quo (Israel), status quo. With time, the party has played into the traditional sympathies of its voter base, though the origins and ideology of Likud are secular. Religious parties have come to view it as a more comfortable coalition partner than Labor. Likud promotes a revival of Jewish culture, in keeping with the principles of Revisionist Zionism. Likud emphasizes such Israeli nationalist themes as the use of the Israeli flag and the victory in the 1948 Arab–Israeli War. In July 2018, Likud lawmakers backed controversial Basic Law: Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People, Nation-State bill into law which declaring Israel as 'nation-state of the Jewish people'. Likud publicly endorses press freedom and promotion of private sector media, which has grown markedly under governments Likud has led. A Likud government headed by Ariel Sharon, however, closed the popular right-wing pirate radio station Arutz Sheva ("Channel 7"). Arutz Sheva was popular with the Jewish settler movement and often criticised the government from a right-wing perspective. Historically, the Likud and its pre-1948 predecessor, the Revisionist movement advocated secular nationalism. However, the Likud's first prime minister and long-time leader
Menachem Begin Menachem Begin ( ''Menaḥem Begin'' (); pl, Menachem Begin (Polish documents, 1931–1937); ''Menakhem Volfovich Begin''; 16 August 1913 – 9 March 1992) was an Israeli politician, founder of Likud and the List of Prime Ministers of Israel, ...

Menachem Begin
, though secular himself, cultivated a warm attitude to Jewish tradition and appreciation for traditionally religious Jews—especially from North Africa and the Middle East. This segment of the Israeli population first brought the Likud to power in 1977. Many Orthodox Israelis find the Likud a more congenial party than any other mainstream party, and in recent years also a large group of Haredi Judaism, Haredim, mostly modern Haredim, joined the party and established The Haredi faction in the Likud.


Composition (1973–1988)


Leaders


Current MKs

Likud currently has 29 Knesset members. They are listed below in the order that they appeared on the party's list for the 2021 elections. #
Benjamin Netanyahu Benjamin Netanyahu (; ; born 21 October 1949) is an Israeli politician serving as the since 2009, previously serving that role from 1996 to 1999. Netanyahu is also the . He is the Israeli prime minister in history and the first to be after ...

Benjamin Netanyahu
#Yuli Edelstein #Israel Katz #Miri Regev #Yariv Levin #Yoav Galant #Nir Barkat #Gila Gamliel #Avi Dichter #Haim Katz #Eli Cohen (politician born 1972), Eli Cohen #Galit Distel-Atbaryan #Tzachi Hanegbi #Ofir Akunis #Yuval Steinitz #Dudi Amsalem #Gadi Yevarkan #
Amir Ohana Amir Ohana ( he, אָמִיר אוֹחָנָה, born 15 March 1976) is an Israeli lawyer, former Shin Bet official and politician who currently serves as Ministry of Public Security (Israel), Minister of Public Security and a member of the Knesse ...

Amir Ohana
#Ofir Katz #Eti Atiya #Yoav Kisch #David Bitan #Keren Barak #Shlomo Karhi #Miki Zohar #Orly Levy-Abekasis #Keti Shitrit #Fateen Mulla #May Golan


Party organs

Likud Executive * Director General of the Likud: Gadi Arielli * Deputy DG, head of the Municipal Division: Rafi Dwek * Director of Foreign Affairs: Eli Hazan * Manager of the Likud Chairman's Office: Hanni Bleiweiss * Head of the Computer Division: Tsuri Siso * Likud Spokeswoman: Noga Katz (Rappaport) * Head of Internet & New Media: Shai Mordov Likud Central Committee Likud Secretariat Likud Bureau Likud Court Legal Advisor of the Likud Movement Likud Youth Movement * Member group of the International Young Democrat Union World Likud


Election results


Knesset


Prime Minister


See also

* List of Likud Knesset Members * New Likudniks


References


External links

*
Likud Nederland

Likud
Knesset website {{Authority control Likud, Political parties in Israel Conservatism in Israel Liberal conservative parties Political parties established in 1973 Revisionist Zionism Zionist political parties in Israel Conservative parties in Israel National liberal parties Betar Liberal parties in Israel National conservative parties Right-wing populist parties 1973 establishments in Israel Right-wing populism in Israel Right-wing parties Right-wing politics in Israel Centre-right parties in Asia