Bookstore Glossary Library Links News Publications Timeline Virtual Israel Experience
Anti-Semitism Biography History Holocaust Israel Israel Education Myths & Facts Politics Religion Travel US & Israel Vital Stats Women
donate subscribe Contact About Home

Religious Zionism Party (formerly Tkuma)

Tkuma (Hebrew: תְּקוּמָה, Resurrection) is an Orthodox Jewish, far-right political party in Israel established in 1998, when Hanan Porat and Zvi Hendel left the National Religious Party. Together with Moledet and Herut, they formed the National Union, which won four seats in the 1999 elections.

For the 2003 elections, Yisrael Beiteinu joined the National Union (though Herut left) and, with its increased support, won seven seats and was included in Ariel Sharon’s coalition.

Because of tensions over the withdrawal from the Gaza Strip (Tkuma was ideologically opposed, and Hendel lived in the Gaza settlement of Ganei Tal), National Union ministers Binyamin Elon and Avigdor Lieberman were sacked, and the party left the coalition. However, the National Union was bolstered by the addition of Ahi, which had split off from the National Religious Party when they decided to remain in the coalition.

Before the 2006 elections, Yisrael Beiteinu left the alliance to fight the election alone. However, at the last minute, the National Religious Party decided to join the alliance, which won nine seats, two of which were allocated to Tkuma and taken by Hendel and Uri Ariel.

In 2008, the party announced a merger with Ahi, the National Religious Party, and Moledet to form a new right-wing party, which was later named the Jewish Home. However, around half the former Tkuma members later left the new party to re-establish Tkuma, and rejoin the National Union alongside Moledet, Hatikva, and Eretz Yisrael Shelanu.

In 2012, the party opted to run as part of the Jewish Home list for the 2013 elections. The joint list won 12 seats, four of which were nominated by the Tkuma central committee. The party decided to continue its alliance with the Jewish Home for the 2015 Knesset elections, but the party won only eight seats in that election.

Tkuma is against territorial concessions. Some members support the annexation of the entire West Bank, though the official policy of the Jewish Home parliamentary faction, of which it is part, supports only annexation of Area C of the West Bank.

In 2019, Bezalel Smotrich took over party leadership and decided to run in the elections with the Yamina Party. Prior to the 2021 election, he renamed the party the Religious Zionism Party and announced it would run on its own and focus on “uniting religious Zionism, and chiefly to be the ideological right-wing voice in the Knesset.”

Sources: “Tkuma,” Wikipedia.
Raoul Wootliff, “Smotrich confirms he’ll split from Yamina and field independent run,” Times of Israel, (January 11, 2021).
Amy Spiro, “Two party primaries could shape Israel’s national political scene,” JewishInsider, (January 18, 2021).