Israel Beiteinu

   A right-of-center, Russian immigrant (see ALIYA) political party headed by former Likud Party insider and Benjamin Netanyahu adviser Avigdor Lieberman that won 4 seats in the election (see KNESSET ELECTIONS) for the 15th Knesset in 1999. Lieberman stressed the party's intention to bring about public unity and peace agreements with a consensus, however the focus of the platform was on immigrant needs: housing, strengthening of development towns, fighting unemployment, education, employment equality, and immigration absorption. On 1 February 2000, it joined with the National Union (NU) faction in the Knesset to form the Israel Beiteinu-National Union Party. This party won a surprising 7 seats in the 16th Knesset (2003) and joined the 30th government of Israel formed by Ariel Sharon on 28 February 2003. However, its ministers (Lieberman and Binyamin Elon) were dismissed from the cabinet in June 2004 due to a dispute over the prime minister's plan to disengage from the Gaza Strip and areas of the northern West Bank. Israel Beiteinu chose to submit an independent list for the election for the 17th Knesset and won 11 seats. It joined the Ehud Olmert-led coalition government on 23 October 2006, with Lieberman serving as deputy prime minister and minister of strategic threats in the prime minister's office. On 16 January 2008, Lieberman resigned from the cabinet and Israel Beiteinu withdrew its support for the coalition to protest Olmert's negotiating strategy toward the Palestinians.

Historical Dictionary of Israel. .

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