Habayit Hayehudi

Leader: Rafi Peretz
Current Seats: 5
Government/Opposition in Last Knesset: Government
Supports/Opposes Two-State Solution: Opposes

Habayit Hayehudi is a right-wing national-religious party. The party was originally formed in 2008 as a union of the National-Religious Party, Moledet, and Tkuma. The party began achieving broader success in 2012, under the leadership of Naftali Bennett, a modern Orthodox businessman. Bennett split from the party in late 2018, launching Hayamin Hehadash.

Three MKs, including Education and Diaspora Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, left Habayit Hayehudi to form Hayemin Hehadash.

When Bennett led the party, he pushed a program known as the Bennett Plan or the Stability Plan, which calls for the annexation of Area C (60 percent) of the West Bank and the establishment of an autonomous Palestinian regime in the remaining 40 percent of the territory. MK Bezalel Smotrich, who leads Tekuma sought the leadership of the rump Habayit Hayehudi, has espoused more extreme views than Bennett, including explicit support for segregation and the removal of Palestinian traffic from West Bank roads. Bayit Yehudi will also run on a joint list with Otzma Yehudit, a Kahanist faction that advocates the expulsion of Palestinians from Israel and the West Bank, at the insistence of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The party ultimately elected Rabbi Rafi Peretz, a former IDF chief rabbi, as its leader in an attempt to retains some of its mainstream clout, though its reputation will likely be muddied by association with Otzma and Tkuma.

Former IDF Chief Rabbi Rafi Peretz was elected to lead Bayit Yehudi after Naftali Bennett’s departure.

Habayit Hayehudi was a major coalition partner for Benjamin Netanyahu in his last two governments, with Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked holding major ministerial portfolios. However, the departure of Bennett and Shaked (herself a secular Israeli Jew), along with the renegotiation of Tkuma’s role in the party and the joint list with Otzma Yehudit, will likely diminish much of Habayit Hayehudi’s appeal outside a hardcore settler constituency.