Yisrael Beiteinu Knesset List: Lieberman First, Cheetah Last

Yisrael Beiteinu, headed by former Infrastructures Minister Avigdor Lieberman, has presented its 24-member list of Knesset candidates. Polls show the right-wing party winning 6-8 seats.

Hillel Fendel, | updated: 14:23


Lieberman [pictured], serving at the time as Prime Minister Netanyahu's Chief of Staff, founded the party in early 1999, in time to win four Knesset seats in the elections four months later. In the next Knesset election, in 2003, the party ran, together with Moledet and Tekuma, as the National Union, which won seven seats.

Yisrael Beiteinu is a secular, right-wing, new immigrants' party. It promotes an exchange of territories as part of a permanent agreement with the Palestinian Authority. The party proposes giving up the Wadi Ara area and parts of the Galilee, which are heavily populated by Arabs, in exchange for parts of Judea and Samaria heavily populated by Jews.

Among the party's list of candidates are the following: MK Yuri Stern in the second slot, former GSS (General Security Service, Shabak) Deputy Chief Yisrael Hason as #3, and MK Sofa Landver, recently of Labor, in #7. The Deputy Mayors of Netanya and Nazareth are numbers 9 and 11, respectively, and MK Yigal Yasinov, recently of Shinui, is in the surprisingly low #14.

Party leader Lieberman called this weekend for strong retaliation against the terrorists who fired Kassam rockets at Kibbutz Carmiya, wounding a baby and two adults. "A strong response will make it clear that it is not a good idea to start with us," he said.

Closing out the list, in 24th place - by all accounts a totally unrealistic slot - is the colorful, ponytailed MK, Eliezer "Cheetah" Cohen, a former Israel Air Force hero. Cohen told Arutz-7's Shimon Cohen that he was happy to be leaving the Knesset after having succeeded in his goal of formulating a Constitution for the State of Israel.

"I came to the Knesset with the goal of making a Constitution," Cheetah said. "No one believed I would succeed, but last week, we placed 37 proofread and well-written pamphlets on President Moshe Katzav's desk. In the next term, the Knesset will vote on it; if not for the elections, we would have voted on it now."

The Constitution has come under heavy attack from the religious community. MK Nissan Slomiansky (National Religious Party) once explained in the Knesset Law Committee:
"We are not opposed to a Constitution; I think we already have one [the Torah]. However, this is not one that will be accepted by the democratic majority, therefore we think that we should forego the idea of a Constitution. [The Constitution will be interpreted by the Supreme Court] which is already a bastion of something that is even beyond judicial activism. If the Court is given the chance, it can even - and we've seen this - nullify duly-passed Knesset laws. That means that the Court can turn into the supreme legislator..."




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