The Zionist Union (Hebrew: הַמַחֲנֶה הַצִיּוֹנִי, translit. HaMaḥaneh HaẒiyoni, lit. the Zionist Camp) was a centre-left political alliance in Israel. It was established in December 2014 by the Israeli Labor Party and Hatnuah to create a joint electoral list to contest the 2015 elections with the hope of unseating Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. It failed to do so but did come in second place with 24 seats in the Knesset, forming the official opposition. However, tension between the Union's competing factions resulted in its dissolution in early January 2019, ahead of that year's April election.[3]

Zionist Union
המחנה הציוני
LeaderIsaac Herzog (2014–2017)
Tzipi Livni (2014–2019)
Avi Gabbay (2017–2019)
Founded10 December 2014 (2014-12-10)
Dissolved1 January 2019 (2019-01-01)
HeadquartersTel Aviv, Israel
Social democracy
Social liberalism
Green politics
Two-state solution
Labor Zionism
Liberal Zionism
Green Zionism
Political positionCentre-left[2]
Alliance ofLabor Party
Green Movement
ColoursBlue, white, red
Election symbol
Ballot for the Zionist Union

History edit

The Labor Party and Hatnuah agreed on 10 December 2014 to form a joint ticket.[4] The list was established to create a large electoral list for the centre-left bloc, in the hope that it will lead the 34th government. Hatnuah leader Tzipi Livni has said that other parties will also be part of the alliance.[5] Livni and Labor leader Isaac Herzog initially said that if the alliance were to win enough seats to lead the next government, they would rotate in the post of Prime Minister, with Herzog serving for the first half of the Knesset's four-year term and Livni for the second half,[6] though Livni announced on 16 March 2015 that only Herzog would serve as prime minister.[7]

Manuel Trajtenberg, number 11 on the list, was the list's candidate for finance minister. Amos Yadlin was the list's candidate for defense minister, though he was not a candidate for the Knesset.[8] The Green Movement also had representation on the list through the addition of Yael Cohen Paran, selected by Livni, on a spot (No. 25) reserved for Hatnuah members.[9]

Composition edit

Name Ideology Position Leader 20th Knesset
Labor Social democracy Centre-left Isaac Herzog
Avi Gabbay
18 / 120
Hatnua Liberalism Centre to centre-left Tzipi Livni
5 / 120
Green Movement Green politics Centre-left to left-wing Yael Cohen Paran
1 / 120

Ideology and platform edit

Main issues edit

Key issues for the Zionist Union included the following:[10][11][12][13][14]

  • Solving economic woes and reducing the cost of living
    • Tackling the housing crisis by providing land for free in the public domain for housing developments and increasing overall government expenditure[15]
    • Reducing the costs of health care, education, and basic goods
    • Closing the gap between rich and poor
  • Reigniting negotiations with the Palestinians
    • Initiating negotiations as part of a collective effort with regional allies Egypt and Jordan, before presenting a peace initiative to the Arab League
    • Shifting Israeli–Palestinian conflict resolution away from unilateral action (including that by the Palestinian Authority at UN agencies and the ICC) and back to a bilateral process supported by the international community
    • Halting construction in isolated settlements
  • Repairing ties with the United States and the European Union

Other positions edit

In addition, the Zionist Union is in favor of the following:

2015 election edit

List of Knesset members edit

The following are the candidates elected to the 20th Knesset from the Zionist Union's party list.[20]

Election results edit

Election year Leader # of
overall votes
% of
overall vote
# of
overall seats won
+/– Government/Opposition
2015 Isaac Herzog
Tzipi Livni
786,313 (#2) 18.7
24 / 120
New party opposition

After the election, the Zionist Union emerged as the second-largest party in the Knesset, with 24 seats. It triumphed in Tel Aviv and its prosperous suburbs, as well as other liberal areas.[21][22] Its success was mostly in affluent areas, and it won the highest number of votes in 28 of Israel's 33 wealthiest communities.[23]

References edit

  1. ^ Jeremy Sharon (9 March 2015). "UTJ dismisses Zionist Union manifesto on religion and state as irrelevant". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  2. ^ Aron Heller (29 January 2015). "Israeli centre-left alliance looks to unseat Netanyahu". Associated Press. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
  3. ^ Jonathan Lis (1 January 2019). "Dramatic Split in Israeli Left as Labor Party Breaks Away From Tzipi Livni". Haaretz. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  4. ^ "Labor, Livni agree to join forces ahead of elections". Haaretz. 10 December 2014. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
  5. ^ "Two Israeli parties unite against Netanyahu". Al Jazeera English. 11 December 2014. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
  6. ^ Isabel Kershner (11 December 2014). "Alliance Adds Twist to Israeli Elections". The New York Times. p. A8. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
  7. ^ Marissa Newman (16 March 2015). "Livni forgoes rotating premiership with Herzog". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
  8. ^ Jonathan Lis (19 January 2015). "Former IDF intel chief joins Zionist Camp; Mofaz doesn't". Haaretz. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
  9. ^ Moran Azulay (25 January 2015). "Center-left Zionist Camp presents party list: We are the true Zionists". Ynetnews. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
  10. ^ "Key facts about Israel and its election system". Associated Press. 17 March 2015. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
  11. ^ Jodi Rudoren (18 March 2015). "Netanyahu Soundly Defeats Chief Rival in Israeli Elections". The New York Times. p. A1. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
  12. ^ Moran Azulay, Zionist Union unveils party platform: Mending ties with US, reducing cost of living, Ynetnews (8 March 2015)
  13. ^ William Booth; Ruth Eglash (21 February 2015). "Could Isaac Herzog become Israel's next prime minister?". The Washington Post.
  14. ^ Hoffman, Gil. "Israel politics: Platforms for the politically perplexed". The Jerusalem Post.
  15. ^ Niv Elis (3 February 2015). "In Zionist Union platform, Trajtenberg calls for giving land for free". Retrieved 14 June 2015.
  16. ^ Sharon Udasin (6 March 2015). "It's tough to be green: Parties outline their platforms". The Jerusalem Post.
  17. ^ Jeremy Sharon (9 March 2015). "UTJ dismisses Zionist Union manifesto on religion and state as irrelevant". The Jerusalem Post.
  18. ^ "Gay Marriage Takes Center Stage in Israeli Election Campaign". Israel Today. 9 January 2015.
  19. ^ Ido Efrati (11 March 2015). "Grass roots support: Most Israeli parties favor use of medical marijuana". Haaretz. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
  20. ^ "Candidates for Knesset Lists in English". Jeremy's Knesset Insider. 31 January 2015. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
  21. ^ Isabel Kershner (20 March 2015). "Abiding Rifts Within Israel Threaten to Widen With Netanyahu Win". The New York Times.
  22. ^ "Likud wins big across Israel, while Zionist Union makes massive gains on Gaza border". Ynetnews. 18 March 2015.
  23. ^ Or Kashti (19 March 2015). "Netanyahu and Likud won by taking poorer Jewish towns, West Bank settlements". Haaretz.

External links edit