Moledet

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Moledet (Hebrew: מולדת‎, Homeland) is a small right-wing political party in Israel. It advocates the notion of voluntary[clarification needed] transfer of the Arab population of the West Bank. Moledet was founded in 1988 by Rehavam Ze'evi, who headed it until his assassination by members of the PFLP in 2001, after which Rabbi Benny Elon was elected as chairman. In 1999, Moledet allied with Herut – The National Movement and Tkuma to form the National Union (Hebrew: איחוד לאומי‎, Ihud Leumi).

While other parties (Kach, Herut) have advocated transfer, Moledet is the party most associated with this notion in Israel, due to its almost lack of any other element in its platform, and due to Ze'evi's success in bringing together opposing elements (in particular, both secular and religious) under the transfer flag. In contrast to Kach and the ideas of Rabbi Meir Kahane, Moledet only advocates voluntary transfer.

Throughout its existence, Moledet remained a small party and never exceeded three Members of the Knesset (out of 120). In the 17th Knesset (2006–2009), Moledet had two MKs, Elon and Professor Aryeh Eldad. In its beginnings, Moledet was considered unsuitable to participate in the government coalition. As political tensions in Israel got worse—and possibly because Moledet, then part of the National Union, was not so clearly associated with the notion of transfer—Moledet finally joined the coalition in 2001. Zeevi was made Minister of Tourism and served until his assassination in 2001, after which Elon replaced him. Elon was dismissed in mid-2004 due to his opposition to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's Gaza disengagement plan.

On 3 November 2008 the party announced a merger with the National Union, the National Religious Party and Tkuma to form a new right-wing party,[1] later named the Jewish Home. But Jewish Home excluded ex-Moledet members from the electable top slots of the candidate list for the 2009 election. Moledet then rejected the merger and joined the revived National Union. In the 2009 election, the Union won four seats, one of which went to Moledet candidate Ya'akov Katz.[2]

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