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An Anglo-Oleh finds a Political Home in Yisrael Beytenu

Published on: July 15, 2012

Yisrael Beytenu hits home. As a new immigrant, I spent a considerable amount of time and effort trying to understand Israel’s fractured political system in search of a political home. Ultimately and perhaps surprisingly, after much exploration and experimentation, I landed in the Anglo division of Yisrael Beytenu.


Despite the stigmas of being ‘Russian’, ‘secular’, ‘dictatorial’ and ‘extremist’, just about everything I heard from Yisrael Beytenu lined up with my own outlook, philosophy, policy and plan. After reading the party’s constitution and the biographies of its Members of Knesset, I saw another side.


Standing on 3 pillars:

  1. Aliyah
  2. National service for all, and
  3. Settling the land


I welcomed the mirror of my own principles as expressed by the party, knowing that advocating such principles would be an easy extension of what I had been saying for years, as backed by the 15 Members of Knesset, many of whom hold crucial ministerial positions.


–          Avigdor Leiberman –  Minister Foreign Affairs – who has built new relationships and extended and strengthened existing bonds in Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.

–          Stas Meseznhikov – Ministry of Tourism – who, along with key Mayors and others, continue to set records for number of tourists toIsraeleach year.

–          Uzi Landau – Minister of Energy and Infrastructure –responsible for Israel’s water and natural gas, an ever important Ministry responsible for developing the Tamar and Leviathan gas field in the Mediterranean.

–          Danny Ayalon – Deputy Foreign Minister – smooth, savvy and technological – he has led Israel’s new media campaign with regular status updates and viral videos.

–          Sofa Landver – Ministry of Immigrant Absorption – bringing Jews from all corners of the world to Israel, fighting for immigrant rights and facilitating a soft landing.



Far from its homogeneous reputation, Yisrael Beytenu has been working for all. Focusing on critical areas such as the rights for new immigrants, promoting governmental reform, and of course foreign policy; the parties’ fight is inclusive rather than exclusive, looking out for the all citizens of Israel as opposed to just one segment of the population. The work and accomplishments of the party speak louder than its reputation allows. Advocating for salient issues we all revere and benefit from, the marginalization of Yisrael Beytenu as a one-sided-one-minded party rather than a ‘one-people’ party has led to a shortfall in the Anglo political portfolio.


Conversing in Hebrew and contributing in English, I work with the English-speaking community. We hope to stick around and grow among all sectors of Israeli society. By elections next year, I hope more Anglo’s call Yisrael Beytenu their political home.


Avi Charney is a new Oleh originally from South Africa

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