TSOMET


TSOMET (Tzomet), right-wing Israeli political party, founded in 1984, prior to the elections to the Eleventh Knesset, by Raphael *Eitan. In keeping with Eitan's views, Tsomet supported the concept of Greater Israel, compulsory military service for yeshivah students, and reduction of state financing for the yeshivot. Tsomet ran in a single list with Teḥiyyah, but only Eitan was elected to the Knesset from the party. In 1987 Tsomet broke away from the joint parliamentary group owing to differences of opinion between Eitan and Ge'ulah *Cohen. Tsomet ran independently in the 1988 election to the Twelfth Knesset, and gained two seats. After the *Israel Labor Party left the National Unity Government, Tsomet joined the narrow government formed by Yitzhak *Shamir in June 1990, and Eitan was appointed minister of agriculture. However, due to opposition to the Madrid Conference of October/November 1991, Tsomet left the government at the end of the year. Toward the end of the Twelfth Knesset Yo'ash Zidon of Tsomet was one of the four MKs who were responsible for the passing of the Law for the Direct Election of the Prime Minister. In the 1992 elections to the Thirteenth Knesset Tsomet ran under the slogan of "clean politics," and won eight seats, gaining many former *Likud votes. Tsomet opposed the Oslo Accords and the possibility of territorial concessions on the Golan Heights to Syria. In the field of economics it supported privatization. However, in 1995, in view of growing discontent in the Tsomet parliamentary group over Eitan's domineering leadership, Labor successfully wooed away three Tsomet members, two of whom were offered ministerial positions. In the 1996 elections to the Fourteenth Knesset, Tsomet ran in a joint list with the Likud and Gesher, and as part of the joint parliamentary group became a member of the government formed by Binyamin *Netanyahu. However, in March 1999 Tsomet broke away from the Likud. At the same time several of its members left to join other parties, either further to the Right or further to the Left. Tsomet was not elected to the Fifteenth Knesset, and of its eight members in the Fourteenth only one – Eli'ezer (Mudi) Sandberg – remained in the Knesset, as a member of Shinui. Eitan was killed in an accident during a storm in 2004.

[Susan Hattis Rolef (2nd ed.)]


Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.