Small Israeli Political Parties

Fringe groups are all the rage in Israeli politics.

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The party's platform states that Israel cannot occupy itself solely with questions of security and borders, but must also deal with its severe environmental crises. Pe'er Veisner, party chairman and first on its Knesset slate, said the dangers facing Israelis in places like the Pi Glilot fuel depot and the chemical factories in Haifa Bay are far greater than the dangers posed by Saddam Hussein.

Men's Rights in the Family Party

Led by Yaakov Schlusser, the party advocates strengthening a man's say in child custody battles and decisions over abortions.

Tzomet

Tzomet, a right-wing secular party established by former IDF chief of staff Rafael Eitan, ran with the Likud in the 1996 elections but did not win any seats on its own in 1999. Moshe Green leads the party list. Eitan, 73, says he may still have a future in politics, if not as a Knesset member, possibly as a cabinet minister.

Yisrael Acheret

This grassroots party, whose name means "A Different Israel," is led by Boaz Nol, a 26-year-old law student, wants to replace politicians with academics, business people, and professionals. The party calls for an end to subsidies for ultra-Orthodox Jews, who are exempt from military service. The party's clean image was clouded when media reports indicated that Nol had rarely done reserve duty since his release from compulsory military service.

The party held a cross-country trek to spread its message from Kiryat Shemona in the north to Sde Boker in the south. Nol vows that his party will "run until the end," and party members have abandoned traditional methods of campaigning to avoid turning into politicians.

Israel Insider is published by Koret Communications.

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Ellis Shuman

Ellis Shuman, a native of Sioux City, Iowa, immigrated to Israel in 1972, served in the IDF and was a founding member of Kibbutz Yahel. He is now Editor in Chief of the online daily news magazine Israel Insider. Ellis lives with his wife and three children on Moshav Neve Ilan.