The Jewish Home

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Jewish Home
הבית היהודי
Leader Daniel Hershkowitz (2008–2012)
Naftali Bennett (2012–present)
Founded 2008; 10 years ago (2008)
Preceded by National Religious Party
Headquarters Jerusalem
Ideology Religious Zionism
Religious nationalism
Religious conservatism
Modern Orthodox interests[1]
One-state solution[2]
Settler interests
Economic liberalism
Political position Right-wing to Far-right[3][4]
Religion Orthodox Judaism (Modern Orthodox Judaism core constituency)[5]
International affiliation None
Colours           Blue, green
8 / 120
Most MKs 12 (2013)
Election symbol

The Jewish Home (Hebrew: הַבַּיִת הַיְהוּדִי‬, HaBayit HaYehudi) is an Orthodox Jewish, religious Zionist political party in Israel,[6] formed as the successor party to the National Religious Party.

It was originally formed by a merger of the National Religious Party, Moledet, and Tkuma in November 2008. However, Moledet broke away from the party after its top representative was placed only 17th on the new party's list for the 2009 Knesset elections, and instead ran on a joint list with Hatikva called the National Union.[7] Tkuma later also left to join the National Union.

For the 2013 elections, the Jewish Home and Tkuma parties ran a joint list under the leadership of the chairman of the Jewish Home, Naftali Bennett.[8]


The National Religious Party and the National Union originally allied in order to run a joint list for the 2006 elections.

On 3 November 2008, it was announced that the NRP and the Moledet and Tkuma factions of the Union would merge to form a new party.[9] However, the Ahi and Hatikva factions of the Union rejected the merger — their leaders, Effi Eitam and Aryeh Eldad, respectively, were both opposed to the party being a religious one,[10] while Eitam was also unhappy that the new party would not hold primaries.[11]

The party was initially nameless. Five names were proposed: HaBayit HaYehudi ("Jewish Home"), Shorashim ("Roots"), Atzma'ut ("Independence"), Shalem ("Whole"), and Amihai ("My Nation Lives"). In an on-line ballot, the members chose "Jewish Home".[12]

Ya'akov Amidror was chosen to head a public committee formed to choose the party's list for the 2009 elections.[9] On 8 December 2008, Rabbi Professor Daniel Hershkovitz, a mathematician from the Technion, was chosen to head the new party.[13]

When Jewish Home announced its candidate list for the upcoming elections, five of the top six slots went to ex-NRP members. MK Uri Ariel of Tkuma was the sole exception: He received the third slot. Polls then indicated Jewish Home would get five to seven seats, thus making the first six spaces highly contested. The ex-National Union members again complained. Ex-Moledet MK Benny Elon stated that he would not seek re-election, and was replaced on the candidate list by American immigrant Uri Bank. The remaining Moledet members broke away, and allied with Hatikva in a revived Union (Bank also later switched to the Union.)

On 25 December, Tkuma MK Ariel left Jewish Home, and joined the Union.[14] This left Jewish Home as little more than a renamed NRP: The Jewish Home, the new National Religious Party. In the 2009 election, the party won three seats.[15]

The Jewish Home election poster: "Something new begins", 2013

In November 2012, the Jewish Home held separate primaries for leadership of the party. My Israel leader Naftali Bennett won over incumbent MK Zevulun Orlev, winning more than two thirds of the vote, and Orlev announced he was resigning from politics. A week later, primaries for the remaining members of the list were held, and Nissan Slomiansky, Ayelet Shaked, and Uri Orbach reached the top spots. With the National Union breaking up, Uri Ariel officially re-united Tkuma with the Jewish Home to run on a joint list in the 2013 Israeli elections. A few Moledet candidates were included. In the elections that were held on 22 January 2013, the Jewish Home won 12 seats. The Jewish Home entered the thirty-third government of Israel under prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and has 3 ministers (Bennett, Ariel, and Orbach) and 2 deputy-ministers (Ben-Dahan and Wortzman).

As part of its 2013 coalition agreement, the Jewish Home had the right to veto any laws that change the fragile status quo on religious issues. In December 2013, the party vetoed a Yesh Atid-proposed bill that sought to give gay fathers equal tax benefits, saying it would have far-reaching implications on marriage laws. Currently, mothers receive more benefits than do fathers under the law, and thus, couples composed of two men are ineligible for certain tax breaks.[16]

In December 2016, the party's member Shuli Mualem proposed the so-called Regulation Bill. The law seeks to legalize dozens of small outposts of settlements built in the occupied Palestinian territories on private ground of individual Palestinians.[17] The Regulation Law passed legislation on 6 February 2017.[18] The law exclusively refers to Palestinians, and allows the government to expropriate land from individual Palestinians against their will for a compensation up to 25% above the land's value.[19]


Leader Took office Left office
1 הרב פרופ' דניאל הרשקוביץ (23685465854) (cropped 2).jpg Daniel Hershkowitz 2008 2012
2 Naftali Bennett - Herzliya Conference 2016 1183 (cropped).jpg Naftali Bennett 2012 Incumbent


The party primarily represents Modern Orthodox as well as Chardal Jews.[5] For many years, this community has been politically fractured and weak.[20] In the 2013 elections, the party was led by Naftali Bennett, a charismatic high-tech millionaire, who appealed to both religious and secular Israelis.[1] The party's pro-settlement message and Bennett's personal appeal helped it increase popularity among a broader segment of the population.[5] The attention that Bennett received also apparently had an effect on Likud's 2013 election strategy, pushing it to the right.[20] Along with Yesh Atid, the Jewish Home surged in popularity by promising to end the controversial system of draft exemptions given to many ultra-Orthodox seminary students, and to "ease the burden" on middle-class Israelis who serve in the military, work, and pay taxes. These two parties became the two largest coalition parties in Prime Minister Netanyahu's government, and leaders of both parties were able to force Netanyahu to promise that the ultra-Orthodox political parties will not be in the new coalition.[21] Despite Bennett's alliance with Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid on many domestic issues, the two differ sharply over peace efforts and settlement building. Bennett is opposed to the creation of a Palestinian state, and has called for Israel to annex Area C of the West Bank and offer citizenship to the Palestinians living there.[5][22][23] Their alliance ended during their time as coalition partners, before the Israeli legislative election, 2015.

Most of the party's candidates for the 2015 elections are opposed to same-sex marriage.[24] Some of the remarks made by its candidates have been called homophobic by Yair Lapid; Zehava Gal-On and Mickey Rosenthal also criticized the comments.[25] Despite this, in a 2016 poll, 57% of Jewish Home voters said they back same-sex marriage.[26]

The party is considered to be part of the national camp in Israeli politics, a group of political parties that share nationalist views and often form governments together.[27]

Knesset election results[edit]

Election year Party Leader # of overall votes % of overall vote # of overall seats
+/- Notes Gov?
2009 Daniel Hershkowitz 96,765 2.87 (#11)
3 / 120
Steady Coalition
2013 Naftali Bennett 345,985 9.12 (#4)
12 / 120
Increase 9 Coalition
2015 Naftali Bennett 283,910 6.74 (#6)
8 / 120
Decrease 4 Coalition

Knesset members list[edit]

Knesset Years MKs Members
17 2006–2009 5 Uri Ariel, Eliyahu Gabai, Zvi Hendel, Zevulun Orlev, Nissan Slomiansky
18 2009–2013 3 Daniel Hershkowitz, Uri Orbach, Zevulun Orlev
19 2013–2015 12 Naftali Bennett, Uri Ariel, Nissan Slomiansky, Eli Ben-Dahan, Ayelet Shaked, Uri Orbach(died in office), Zvulun Kalfa, Avi Wortzman, Moti Yogev, Orit Strook, Yoni Chetboun, Shuli Mualem, Hillel Horowitz(from 2/16/15)
20 2015– 8 Naftali Bennett, Uri Ariel, Ayelet Shaked, Eli Ben-Dahan, Nissan Slomiansky, Yinon Magal(resigned in 2015), Moti Yogev, Bezalel Smotrich, Shuli Mualem(from October 2015)


  1. ^ a b "Key parties in incoming Israeli parliament". Associated Press. 24 January 2013. Retrieved 28 June 2015. 
  2. ^ "Can Israel move toward the 'one-state solution' in the Trump era?". 12 April 2017. Retrieved 19 May 2017. 
  3. ^ J. J. Goldberg (21 December 2014). "Israeli Politics Enters Silly Season as Elections Loom". The Jewish Daily Forward. Retrieved 28 June 2015. [Yishai] planned to join forces with settler leader Uri Ariel, head of the far-right faction in Naftali Bennett's Jewish Home party. 
  4. ^ Ben Birnbaum (18 March 2015). "Benjamin Netanyahu Will Not Win Another Election". The New Republic. Retrieved 28 June 2015. The bump came mostly at the expense of hard-right Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett, who earlier in the campaign had been polling just behind Netanyahu. 
  5. ^ a b c d "A look at the make-up of the new Israeli government". The Oklahoman. Associated Press. 14 March 2013. Retrieved 12 November 2017. 
  6. ^ Jodi Rudoren (22 January 2013). "Tepid Vote for Netanyahu in Israel Is Seen as Rebuke". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-04-10. 
  7. ^ Abe Selig (18 December 2008). "Moledet breaks from newly formed Bayit Hayehudi". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 15 June 2015. 
  8. ^ "Moledet Strengthens Unity in Religious Camp". Arutz Sheva. 8 November 2012. Retrieved 1 May 2013. 
  9. ^ a b Amnon Meranda (3 November 2008). "Right-wing parties unite". Ynetnews. Retrieved 15 June 2015. 
  10. ^ Hillel Fendel (19 November 2008). "Petition: Include Eldad and Marzel in New Religious Party". Arutz Sheva. Retrieved 15 June 2015. 
  11. ^ Attila Somfalvi (3 November 2008). "Eitam wants to join Likud". Ynetnews. Retrieved 15 June 2015. 
  12. ^ "New Nationalist Party Named 'The Jewish Home'". Arutz Sheva. 19 November 2008. Retrieved 28 June 2015. .
  13. ^ Matthew Wagner (9 December 2008). "Habayit Hayehudi opts for Hershkowitz". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 15 June 2015. 
  14. ^ Matthew Wagner (25 December 2008). "National Union splits from Habayit Hayehudi". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 15 June 2015. 
  15. ^ "Israel Elections 2009 Results". Israel National News. 10 February 2009. Archived from the original on 11 February 2009. Retrieved 18 June 2015. 
  16. ^ Lazar Berman (18 December 2013). "Lapid, Bennett at odds again over gay benefits bill". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 28 June 2015. 
  17. ^ Andrew Carey. (8/12/2016). "Israel's Knesset advances bill on legalizing West Bank outposts. CNN.
  18. ^ Andrew Carey and Emanuella Grinberg. (07/02/2017). "Israel's parliament passes West Bank outposts bill. CNN.
  19. ^ The law in Hebrew as passed by the Israeli Knesset at the official website of the Knesset.
  20. ^ a b Jodi Rudoren (27 December 2012). "Dynamic Former Netanyahu Aide Shifts Israeli Campaign Rightward". The New York Times. p. A12. Retrieved 15 June 2015. 
  21. ^ Aron Heller (Mar 12, 2013). "Israel's ultra-Orthodox suddenly are outsiders". Associated Press. Retrieved 28 June 2015. 
  22. ^ Naftali Bennett (7 November 2014). "For Israel, Two-State Is No Solution". The New York Times. p. A31. Retrieved 28 June 2015. 
  23. ^ Naftali Bennett (20 May 2014). "A New Plan for Peace in Palestine". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 15 June 2015. (subscription required)
  24. ^ "What do Habayit Hayehudi candidates think about same-sex marriage?". Haaretz. 8 January 2015. Retrieved 15 June 2015. 
  25. ^ Or Wolman (28 January 2015). "Lapid: The Bayit Ha-Yehudi is a homophobic party". Jerusalem Online. Retrieved 28 June 2015. 
  26. ^
  27. ^ Shamir, Michal (2017). The Elections in Israel 2015. Taylor & Francis. p. 77. 

External links[edit]