End of an era: Four right-wing parties unite, will feature one Knesset list to be determined by committee; in festive press conference founders pledge to offer 'new national agenda, headed by Jewish education and morality'
Political history: A new right-wing party that brings together four existing factions has been inaugurated at the Knesset Monday. The new party is a merger of the National Union, National Religious Party, Tkuma, and Moledet.
New party members have pledged to "lead a new national agenda, to be topped by Jewish education and the State of Israel's Jewish identity, social welfare…Jewish morality, settlement activity, as well as diplomatic and security issues."
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The party's Knesset list will be selected by a committee to comprise a variety of figures from the rightist and national-religious public. The committee will be headed by IDF Major General (Res.) Yaakov Amidror.
National Religious Party Zevulun Orlev said the new party constitutes "unity by the Zionist religious camp. Anyone can submit his candidacy. There is no advantage whatsoever to current Knesset members.
Orlev added that the merger of four different parties is unprecedented. "Following 27 years of splits, we are going for a move of unity," he said. "This is our hope to go back to running the country, rather than viewing the opposition as a default option."
Meanwhile, MK Zvi Hendel said that "we decided to place the issue of education at the top of our agenda in light of our success in the national-religious education system. There were years where we were worried about what non-religious people and leftists will say, but today everyone realizes that education is everything."
"I believe that all of Israel is ours, but in practice we shall have to divide it," he said. "The question is how, and what is the principle behind this."
Party members said they were seeking the public's participation in choosing the new party's name.