Yisrael Beiteinu

Leader: Avigdor Liberman
Current Seats: 5
Government/Opposition in Last Knesset: Both (opposition 3/2015-5/2016, 11/2018-present, government 5/2016-11/2018)
Supports/Opposes Two-State Solution: Supports

Yisrael Beiteinu is a right-wing political party established in 1999 by Avigdor Liberman. Soviet-born Liberman launched the party as a special interests faction to represent the concern of Israel’s million-plus Russian-speaking immigrant community. Today, however, the party seeks a more national orientation, aiming to recruit supporters from outside the Russian Israeli community.

Yisrael Beiteinu was founded as a Russian speakers special interest party and was once the second-largest right-wing faction in the Knesset. Today, it is unclear whether it can pass the electoral threshold.

Avigdor Liberman lives in the West Bank settlement of Nokdim. However, Yisrael Beiteinu officially supports a version of the two-state solution colloquially known as the Liberman Plan. Under the Liberman Plan, large settlements would be annexed to Israel, but predominantly Arab parts of Israel, such as the Triangle in northern Israel, would be ceded a future Palestinian state. This program is strongly opposed by Palestinian citizens of Israel, who do not want to surrender their citizenship. Liberman is hawkish on military affairs, often seeking to position himself as more militant than Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Indeed, it was Liberman who brought the coalition to a single-seat majority when he resigned in protest over a ceasefire with Hamas in Gaza, criticizing Netanyahu’s government as soft on terror.

Avigdor Liberman resigned as defense minister in protest over a ceasefire with Hamas, bringing the coalition to a single-seat majority. Now he’s trying to market himself as a more authentically right-wing candidate than Netanyahu.

Yisrael Beiteinu was once the second-largest faction in the Knesset, running on a joint list with Likud in 2013. However, the growing integration of Yisrael Beiteinu’s natural base (Russian Israelis) and the rise of other new right-wing parties have left Liberman’s faction treading water, with most polls placing the party right around the electoral threshold.