Tehiya

(Renaissance)
   Founded in 1979, Tehiya was a political party of "true believers" focused on the land of Israel (see ERETZ ISRAEL [ERETZ YISRAEL]), with an ideological fervor reminiscent of Israel's political parties in the early years of independence and before. It was composed of both religious and secular elements and appealed strongly to Israel's youth. It had a component from Gush Emunim (Bloc of the Faithful), but various secularists and secular-oriented groupings were also involved.
   Tehiya included old associates of Menachem Begin from the anti-British underground and such former Herut Knesset members as Geula Cohen, and Land of Israel Movement personalities also joined. Included among its prominent members were Moshe Shamir, Aluf Avraham Yoffe, Dr. Zeev Vilnay, and Dr. Israel Eldad. Tehiya's origins were based in opposition to the Camp David Accords of 1978 and the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty of 1979, which called for total withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula and commitment to autonomy for the Arab residents in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
   Members charged that Begin, in agreeing to the Sinai withdrawal and Palestinian autonomy, had sold out to international pressure, and they demanded that all of the Occupied Territories must remain in Israel's hands. The party's head was Professor Yuval Ne'eman, a physicist from Tel Aviv University and a leading nuclear scientist with a long-standing role in the defense establishment. In July 1982, Tehiya joined Begin's Likud-led ruling coalition, with Neeman serving as minister of science and technology. This move seemed to help ensure Tehiya's future and strengthen the opposition in the government to concessions concerning Palestinian autonomy in the West Bank. Raphael (Raful) Eitan, former chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces, assumed the leadership of an alliance between Tehiya and Tsomet alliance, and the combined party won five Knesset seats in the 1984 election. The combined party was disbanded in 1987, when Ei-tan established his own party, Tsomet. Tehiya campaigned in the 1988 election on a platform that called for "peace for peace," without Israel yielding any portion of the land of Israel, and for increasing settlement in the territories as a guarantee of peace. It supported having Israeli sovereignty applied to Judea and Samaria and Gaza.
   In 1990, Tehiya joined the narrow coalition formed by Yitzhak Shamir, but it subsequently left the government to protest Israel's participation in the Madrid Middle East Peace Conference. It failed to pass the threshold of 1.5 percent of the popular vote in the 1992 election, and it did not contest the 1996 or 1999 elections. The core of its support shifted either to one of the other secular-nationalist parties (Likud, Tsomet, or Moledet) or to the National Religious Party. However, its political philosophy continued to color important aspects of the security and foreign policy debate in Israel.

Historical Dictionary of Israel. .

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