The Israel Beiteinu (Israel Our Home) party between the mainstream and 'Russian' community politics

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Abstract

The Israel Our Home (Israel Beiteinu, IB) party became the major surprise of the 2009 elections, winning 15 Knesset seats. Two-thirds of these seats were won through Russian speakers, who entered Israel in the recent waves of Russian Jewish immigration; and a third came from veteran and native Israelis. This composition showed a major dilemma of IB - to find a modus vivendi between the party's nationwide aspirations and its predominantly Russian community character. The IB's electoral success was a result of its concept of a 'population and territories exchange', which was a 'neocentralist alternative' to both the 'land for peace' of the left and the 'peace for peace' concepts of the right, as well as the charismatic figure of the party leader Avigdor Lieberman, who better than anybody else succeeded in expressing the feeling of frustration of the various peripheral groups in Israeli society.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-123
Number of pages19
JournalIsrael Affairs
Volume16
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2010

Keywords

  • Elections
  • Immigrant politics
  • Israel beiteinu
  • Lieberman
  • Russian-speaking jews

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