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.

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