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Foreign Minister and Kadima Chairwoman Tzipi Livni said on Monday that in the upcoming general elections, Israel would essentially be deciding whether to continue or halt the current peace negotiations.

Livni told Kadima members that Likud, the main opposition party, is interested in "stopping all" peace moves, adding: "I don't believe that the Israeli public wants a complete halt to the peace process. Israel cannot make itself irrelevant."

In her address to the party, the Kadima leader retracted a statement she made a few weeks ago, regarding the disappearance of the old right and left in Israel.

"In recent days, the differences between Kadima and Likud have become much sharper... due to statements made by Likud member and due to the influx of personalities from the extreme right movement joining Likud."

This was in reference to former Likud member Benny Begin and National Religious Party MK Effie Eitam, who on Sunday announced that they were moving into the opposition group.

MK Zevulun Orlev establishes new right wing party

After 27 years of disputes over various political issues, the central factions of the National Religious Party (NRP) are banding together to establish a new political party whose platform emphasizes Jewish education and Jewish identity.

NRP chairman, MK Zevulun Orlev stated Monday that "as of now, the struggle will be for the spirit and soul of the Israeli state, rather then a struggle for material assets, and that the main objective is to take part in directing the country rather then viewing the opposition as a hurdle to overcome".

The new party is defined as traditional, religious and Zionist, and is open to non-religious members as well.

The principal agreement of the new party, whose name has not yet been established yet, states that open primaries will be held to elect party leader. The elections will be open to anyone who signs the party's fundamental principals.

The party MKs will be appointed by a public committee comprised of 30 members and headed by Major General (res.) Yaakov Amidror. The committee has been instructed to assign at least 4 new candidates in the top 10 spots on the party's list, including women and traditional candidates who do not wear yarmulkes. Additionally, founding party members and supporting MK's will not be guaranteed a place on the roster.

Rabbi Itzhak Levy has announced he would be joining the new party, and wished good luck to his partner in NRP over recent years MK Eitam, who will be

  • joining the Likud

    Zevulun Orlev stated that establishing a new party is a dramatic and historical move, and added that never before has a party allowed its voters such significant influence in electing its leader. He also noted the public committee as the first of its kind, and referred to it as "a group of a few non-bias dozens who will establish a roster carefully and objectively".