Herut – The National Movement (Hebrew: חרות – התנועה
Herut – HaTnu'a HaLeumit), commonly known as just
Herut (חרות), was a minor right-wing political party in Israel.
Though it sees itself as the ideological successor to the historical
Herut party (which merged into Likud) it is a new and separate party.
It participated in the 1999, 2003 and 2006 elections.
The party was formed on 23 February 1999 when Benny Begin, Michael
David Re'em broke away from
Likud during the fourteenth
Knesset. The breakaway was the result of disagreements with Likud
Benjamin Netanyahu over the
Wye River Memorandum
Wye River Memorandum and the Hebron
Agreement, which had ceded land to the Palestinians. Though not an MK
at the time, the new party was also backed by former Prime Minister
Herut leader, Yitzhak Shamir.
Herut participated in the 1999 elections as part of the National
Union, a right-wing alliance of itself,
Moledet and Tkuma with Begin
at its head. In the simultaneous election for Prime Minister, Begin
had originally planned to stand, but dropped out three days before the
election to avoid splitting the right-wing vote between himself and
Netanyahu (though it didn't help, as Netanyahu lost to
Ehud Barak by
more than 12%). In the
Knesset election, the National Union won only
3% of the vote and four seats. The party's poor performance led to
Begin resigning as head of the party and retiring from politics before
Knesset term began, and Herut's one allocated seat was taken by
On 1 February 2000, Kleiner pulled out of the National Union,
Herut as an independent party in the Knesset. In the 2003
elections the party ran alone. It chose the ballot letters נץ,
meaning "hawk", and used the slogan "the 'hawkiest' on the right".
Kleiner led the list, with Baruch Marzel, a former member of the
outlawed Kach party taking second place. The party won 36,202 votes,
though it was only 1.1% of the total, and not enough to pass the 1.5%
electoral threshold. Soon after Marzel left to found his own party,
the Jewish National Front.
Herut participated in the 2006 elections, again with the letters נץ.
This time Kleiner was joined by veteran activists
Elie Yossef and
Israel Cohen. The main campaign message was "Compensation for
Evacuation of Palestinians." Yana Chudriker, an immigrant from the
Ukraine and beauty queen of
Israel (1993) was assigned number 4 on the
party list. The campaign presented Chudriker wearing a burqa as a
warning against the demographic threat of Arabs to
Israel and the
slogan was "The Demographics Will Poison Us" (in Hebrew the words
"poison" (ra'al, רעל) and "burqa" (r'ala, רעלה) sound similar).
The poster's publication resulted in
Attorney General Menachem Mazuz
ordering the police to investigate the party for inciting racism.
The party's television campaign also drew criticism, and segments were
removed by the Central election committee. Committee chairman and
Supreme Court Judge
Dorit Beinisch asserted that the removed segment
from the advertisement clearly made reference to a blatantly racist
slogan and retorted that if aired, would most probably hurt the
feelings of the Arab population. In the election itself, the party
won just 2,387 votes—0.07%, well below the new electoral threshold
Prior to the 2009 elections, Kleiner and Begin rejoined the Likud
Herut did not run in the 2009 elections or subsequently and is
^ "Shamir, Opposing Netanyahu, Takes Further Turn to Right". The New
York Times. 25 March 1999. Retrieved 22 June 2015.
^ Dan Izenberg (10 April 2006). "Mazuz: Probe
Herut for incitement".
The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 22 June 2015.
^ Gideon Alon (7 March 2006). "Central Election Committe[sic]: Herut
campaign ad provokes racism". Haaretz. Archived from the original on 1
Herut - National Movement (Herut)
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