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Yisrael Beiteinu Party

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Yisrael Beiteinu- (also Yisrael Beitenu, Yisrael Beiteynu) A secular nationalist list, made up of new immigrants and relative veterans. It was headed by MK Avigdor Lieberman. It ran in the elections for the Fifteenth Knesset (1999). During the Fifteenth Knesset, Yisrael Beitenu merged with the National Union Party (Ichud Leumi), forming the Ichud-Hale'umi -YisraelBeitenu parliamentary group. In the elections for the Sixteenth Knesset (2003), Yisrael Beitenu was part of the Ichud Haleumi list, but it separated thereafter. In the 17th Knesset, Yisrael Beiteynu had 11 seats. Lieberman was a cabinet member for a brief period in the government of Ariel Sharon (Transportation Minister, 2004) and Ehud Olmert (Minister for Strategic Affairs). The party overcame much of its "immigrant" character when it was joined by former Likud member Uzi Landau and former ambassador Danny Ayalon.

The Yisrael Beiteinu party received 15 mandates in the elections for the 18th Israeli Knesset on February 10, 2009, becoming the third largest party in Israel. It's platform includes

  • National service or army service for all citizens including Arabs and ultraorthodox Jews.

  • Peace based on a territorial swap that will transfer a large number of Israeli Arabs to a Palestinian Arab state.

  • A loyalty oath to be required for citizenship. Persons not taking the oath would be disenfranchised.

  • A call for civil marriages, to accommodate immigrants from former USSR who are not Jewish according to orthodox Jewish Halachah law.

The rapid rise of this party, considered undemocratic by many, has caused a great deal of alarm in the Arab world and among Israeli Arabs.

Ami Isseroff

February 11, 2009

Synonyms and alternate spellings:

Further Information: National Union Party (Ichud Leumi) Political Parties, Israel Avigdor Lieberman

Hebrew/Arabic pronunciation and transliteration conventions:

'H - ('het) a guttural sound made deep in the throat. To Western ears it may sound like the "ch" in loch. In Arabic there are several letters that have similar sounds. Examples: 'hanukah, 'hamas, 'haredi. Formerly, this sound was often represented by ch, especially in German transliterations of Hebrew. Thus, 'hanukah is often rendered as Chanuka for example.

ch - (chaf) a sound like "ch" in loch or the Russian Kh as in Khruschev or German Ach, made by putting the tongue against the roof of the mouth. In Hebrew, a chaf can never occur at the beginning of a word. At the beginning of a word, it has a dot in it and is pronounced "Kaf."

u - usually between oo as in spoon and u as in put.

a- sounded like a in arm

ah- used to represent an a sound made by the letter hey at the end of a word. It is the same sound as a. Haganah and Hagana are alternative acceptable transliterations.

'a-notation used for Hebrew and Arabic ayin, a guttural ah sound.

o - close to the French o as in homme.

th - (taf without a dot) - Th was formerly used to transliterate the Hebrew taf sound for taf without a dot. However in modern Hebrew there is no detectable difference in standard pronunciation of taf with or without a dot, and therefore Histadruth and Histadrut, Rehovoth and Rehovot are all acceptable.

q- (quf) - In transliteration of Hebrew and Arabic, it is best to consistently use the letter q for the quf, to avoid confusion with similar sounding words that might be spelled with a kaf, which should be transliterated as K. Thus, Hatiqva is preferable to Hatikva for example.

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This work and individual entries are copyright 2005 by Ami Isseroff and Zionism and Israel Information Center and may not reproduced in any form without permission unless explicitly noted otherwise. Individual entries may be cited with credit to The Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Zionism and Israel

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