Habayit Hayehudi (also known as "Bayit Yehudi" and "Jewish Home") was founded in 2008, before the elections for the 18th Knesset, in order to formally merge the National Religious Party (the Mafdal) and the National Union (HaIchud HaLeumi) —which had already been operating as a joint faction in the 17th Knesset—into a unified right-wing party. Two key figures, however, refused to participate in the merger: Effi Eitam of the National Religious Party, who joined the Likud, and Aryeh Eldad of the National Union, who chose to form the HaTikvah party instead.
The merged party's list of Knesset candidates was determined by a public council. Disappointed by the council's decision, the members of the National Union resigned from the new party and ran for the 18th Knesset together with HaTikvah as part of the National Union's list.
In November 2012, in the lead up to the elections for the 19th Knesset in 2013, Habayit Hayehudi underwent a transformation. The party conducted an extensive registration drive and conducted primary elections for its leadership for the first time. Naftali Bennett, who won the primaries, led the party in an impressive achievement of 12 mandates in the Knesset elections. The party's final list for the 2013 elections also included representatives of the Tekuma party, headed by Uri Ariel.
Note that in the table below, the list of candidates and platform for 2009 are in Hebrew, while the candidates and platform for 2013 are in English.
|Electoral Year||Knesset Number||Number of Seats||Percentage of Votes||Candidates||Platforms|
Naftali Bennett, Uri Orbach, Zevulun Orlev, Daniel Hershkowitz.
Following the elections of 2009, Habayit Hayehudi was one of the six parties that made up Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's second government in the 18th Knesset. Its representative in the government was Rabbi Prof. Daniel Hershkowitz, who served as Minister of Science and Technology.
In Netanyahu’s third government, which took office in March 2013 after the elections for the 19th Knesset in January 2013, there are three representatives of Habayit Hayehudi: Naftali Bennett was appointed Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor; Uri Ariel was appointed Minister of Housing and Construction, and Uri Orbach was appointed Pensioners Minister. For all the ministers of the current government, see the bottom of the Elections and Parties main page.