L

Avigdor Lieberman

(1958 - ) Jewish Israeli political figure. Lieberman founded and is the leader of the secular, right-wing, nationalist Yisrael Beiteinu party, whose constituents are, like Lieberman is himself, immigrants from the former Soviet Union who support a hard line vis-a-vis negotiations with Palestinians. Lieberman became Israel’s Minister of Foreign Affairs starting in 2009, and held the post until the 2015 elections, with a brief period of resignation due to charges of fraud in which he was ultimately acquitted. Lieberman lives in a settlement, and has proposed a "Populated-Area Exchange Plan," in which Palestinian towns inside Israel which are close to the Green Line would be transferred to the Palestinian Authority and large Settlement blocs would be included within Israel. In 2009, Lieberman stated that he supports the creation of a Palestinian state, but reiterated in 2014 that such a state must include this population exchange. He has also advocated a "loyalty oath" which is meant to disenfranchise those citizens of Israel (particularly Palestinian citizens of Israel) who are not prepared to sign an oath of loyalty to the state of Israel. In 2009, his party’s election campaign included the slogan, "No loyalty, no citizenship." He is adamantly opposed to the Right of Return for any and all Palestinian refugees. See "Lieberman: Several Israeli Arab towns must be made part of Palestine under peace deal," Barak Ravid, Haaretz, Jan 5, 2014; and "Liberman: Citizenship annulment is a condition for peace," Dahlia Scheindlin, +972mag, Jan 9, 2014.

Labor Party

(Mifleget Havodah in Hebrew) An Israeli political party, first named Mapai, which emerged out of the Labor Zionist movement of the 1930s, and was based on socialist ideas. The party’s leaders included many of the principal founders of the State of Israel, including the first Israeli Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion. Labor, which considers itself a social democratic and Zionist party, dominated the Israeli government until 1977, when the rival Likud Party came into power. Labor came to power again in the 1990s, emerging as the leading Israeli political party favoring territorial compromise for peace and the party that first officially recognized the Palestine Liberation Organization. However, settlement expansion and other entrenched elements of occupation continued under Labor-led governments as much as (and in some instances even more than) the center-right Likud-led governments. After the collapse of the Oslo Process and the onset of the Second Intifada, Labor lost control of the Prime Ministership. In 2006, several key Labor Partymembers joined with Likud Party members to form the Kadima party, and in 2011, Labor Chairman Ehud Barak broke away with four other Labor Party lawmakers to form the Independence party. See "Labor," YNet News, February 1, 2008; "Israel’s Labor Party splits; Ehud Barak forms new faction," Edmund Sanders, Los Angeles Times, January 17, 2011; and "Israel’s New Labor Leader Faces a Party in Decline," Isabel Kershner, The New York Times, September 22, 2011.

Labor Zionism

Founded in the early 1900s, Labor Zionism was influenced by socialist principles, specifically that a Jewish homeland could only be created through and based on the collective efforts of the Jewish working class. The current Labor party emerged from this form of Zionism. See "Labor Zionism," Helen Chapin Metz, U.S. Library of Congress, "Israel: A Country Study," 1988.

Land Day

(Yom Al-Ard in Arabic, Yom Ha-Adamah in Hebrew) Observed annually on March 30, Land Day marks the first large-scale political protest organized by Palestinian citizens of Israel since the establishment of the State of Israel. In March 1976, Israel published its plan to confiscate approximately 1,500 acres of land from Palestinian villages in the Galilee region, in order to establish military bases and new Jewish settlements. A General Strike and marches were called for March 30, 1976 to protest this land expropriation The demonstrations resulted in violent clashes in which six unarmed Palestinians citizens were killed by the Israeli police and army, and hundreds more were wounded and arrested. An unknown number of Israeli police and military were also wounded. The day is commemorated both by Palestinian citizens of Israel and Palestinians within the Occupied Palestinian Territories to honor Palestinians who have died in the struggle to hold onto their lands and identity. See "Palestinian Land Day: Frequently Asked Questions," March 29, 2004, MIFTAH; and "This Week in History: the 1976 Land Day protests," Michael Omer-Man, The Jerusalem Post, March 25, 2012.

Lehi

(A Hebrew acronym for "Lohamei Herut Yisrael" or "Fighters for the Freedom of Israel") Also known as the Stern Gang, after Lehi’s founder Avraham Stern. In 1940, this militant faction broke away from the Irgun, an underground Jewish paramilitary group. Lehi undertook paramilitary operations against both Palestinian communities and the British throughout British mandate Palestine. The group was responsible for the assassination of the British Minister of State for the Colonies, Lord Moyn, as well as the UN Swedish mediator Folke Bernadotte. On April 9, 1948, members of Lehi and the Irgun attacked the Palestinian village of Deir Yassin, where approximately 100 Palestinians were killed, many of them women and children. The group was disbanded and became part of the Israeli army in September 1948. Yitzhak Shamir (later to become Prime Minister of Israel) was one of Lehi’s leaders. See "Righteous Victims: A History of the Zionist-Arab Conflict, 1881-2001," Benny Morris, Vintage Books, 2001; and "Eliahu Amikam, Leader of the Jewish Underground, Dies," Associated Press, Aug 14, 1995.

Likud Party

(Hebrew for "union") An Israeli center-right political party that emerged out of the Revisionist Zionist movement, which focused on immediate Jewish settlement in the entire area of British mandate Palestine. Throughout most of its history, Likud has been ideologically opposed to any territorial compromise with the Palestinians, has objected to a sovereign Palestinian state, and has been a proponent of the settler movement and the Greater Israel concept. Its first electoral victory for a majority in the Israeli parliament came in 1977. In 1978, Likud Prime Minster Menachem Begin signed a peace treaty with Egypt, which involved Israeli military and civilian withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula. Begin soon after launched the 1982 War in Lebanon. In 1991, Likud Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir headed the Israeli negotiation team at the Madrid Conference. More recent Likud leaders, such as Benjamin Netanyahu, have led neo-liberalist economic measures. Dispute over Israel’s unilateral Gaza Disengagement in August 2005 led Likud Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to leave the party and establish the Kadima party, which rivaled the Likud and won in the 2006 elections. Likud came into power again in 2009. See the Knesset website: "Likud," and "Likud," YNet News, February 1, 2008.

Tzipi Livni

(1958- ) A Jewish Israeli political figure. Livni was first elected to the Israeli Knesset as part of the Likud party in 1999. Before leaving Likud in November 2005 to help form the Kadima party, she aided in brokering Israel’s controversial Gaza Disengagement. Livni served as the Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2006-2009 and Minister of Justice. After Prime Minister Ehud Olmert resigned from the Kadima chairmanship in July 2008, she was elected head of the party, and later founded the political party Hatnuah in 2012. Livni joined with Labor Party leader Isaac Herzog in 2015 to form the Zionist Union bloc, which, as of 2015, holds the second largest number of seats in Israel’s Knesset. See "Tzipi Livni," Haaretz.