Founded in 1996
Founded in 1996, the Yisrael B'Aliya party was an initiative of immigrants from the former Soviet Union. Its leader, Natan Sharansky, was a former "Refusenik" or "Prisoner of Zion"—a term used to refer to individuals whom the Soviet regime had barred from emigration to Israel, and imprisoned. As a sectorial party, Yisrael B'Aliya was intended, first and foremost, to promote the interests of immigrants from the FSU and to help them integrate into Israeli society. The party emerged in response to the new immigrants' frustration with the pace of their absorption in Israel and their discontent with the stigmatizing treatment they had received. With respect to security issues, the party held positions to the right of center, emphasizing the alleged failure of the Oslo process and the need to rehabilitate Israel’s deterrence capabilities.
The party did not offer overt support to either Shimon Peres or Binyamin Netanyahu in the elections for Prime Minister; however, the close and friendly relations between Sharansky and Netanyahu hinted at the party's alignment. Immediately after its establishment, Yisrael B'Aliya enjoyed success in the 1996 elections and joined the Netanyahu government. Prior to the 1999 elections for the 15th Knesset, two of its Knesset members left the party and joined Yisrael Beitenu, which was competing with Yisrael B'Aliya for the votes of immigrants from the former Soviet Union. The movement towards a split within the party continued even after the elections, with the resignation of two more members of Knesset. In the 2003 elections for the 16th Knesset, the party received only two seats. Shortly thereafter, it joined the Likud and ceased to exist.