National Union


National Union

Founded in 1999

Founded in the lead-up to the 1999 elections for the 15th Knesset, the National Union was originally a15th coalition of three small right-wing parties: Tekuma, Moledet and Herut. Ze'ev Binyamin (Benny) Begin was placed at the head of the list, but when it emerged that the faction received only four seats, he announced his resignation and did not assume his post as a member of Knesset.


During the course of the 15th Knesset, Herut resigned from the faction, and Yisrael Beytenu (Israel is Our Home) joined. The collaboration between the National Union and Yisrael Beytenu intensified, and the two parties ran on a joint list in the 2003 elections for the 16th Knesset. Headed by Avigdor Lieberman, the list received seven seats. In 2005, Yisrael Beytenu left the joint faction and in the 2006 elections for the 17th Knesset, it ran in a joint list with the National Religious Party (Mafdal). This list received nine seats, six of which were for members of the National Union. In 2009, prior to the elections for the 18th Knesset, both parties, hoping to strengthen their partnership, tried to establish a joint party that would represent all of the parties of the political right. However, differences of opinion caused the two parties to split. As a result, the National Union ran as a list that included the parties Tekuma, HaTikvah, Moledet and Eretz Yisrael Shelanu (The Land of Israel is Ours).


The National Union places itself to the right of the National Religious Party and appeals primarily to religious voters. Not religious by definition, the party has, in all of its various incarnations, included non-religious candidates. Even so, it aspires to deepen Jewish education in the schools. The party champions the principle of the Greater Land of Israel, supports the settlement enterprise in Judea and Samaria, and calls for an aggressive security policy. On economic issues, the party champions liberalization of the economy and encourages private enterprise

Election Year Votes Count Seats Count Votes Percent List Of Candidates Platform
2009 18 4 3.3 Candidates Candidates Platform Platform
2006 17 9* 7.1 Candidates Candidates
2003 16 7** 5.5 Candidates Candidates
1999 15 4 3.0 Candidates Candidates

*   Joint list with the National Religious Party
** Joint list with Yisrael Beytenu

Note that the candidates and platforms in this table are in Hebrew.

Rechavam Ze'evi, Benny Elon, Aryeh Eldad, Uri Ariel


The National Union was a member of Ariel Sharon’s first government, which was formed in 2001, and held the portfolios of Tourism (Rechavam Ze’evi held this portfolio, which was given to Benny Elon following Ze'evi's assassination), and Infrastructure (Avigdor Lieberman). The party remained a part of Sharon’s second government following the elections of 2003, holding the portfolios of Tourism (Elon) and Transportation (Lieberman). These two ministers were fired by Prime Minister Sharon fired due to their objection to the plan to withdraw from the Gaza Strip.