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Royalist Conservative Party (Yisrael)

Royalist Conservative Party of Yisrael

המלוכנים המפלגה השמרנית של ישראל
nameModern Hebrew
LeaderYitzchok Katz
FoundedJanuary 19, 1923 (1923-01-19)
(de facto 1920)
Preceded byRoyalists
(circa 1880s - 1922)
Conservatives
(1913 - 1922)
HeadquartersDervaylik
NewspaperConservative Daily
Student wingRoyalist Conservative Student League
IdeologyNationalism
Conservatism
Strong monarchy
Social conservatism
National Religious and Chardal interests
Internal Factions:
Torah Judaism
Neoliberalism
National conservatism
Political positionRight
Colors     Navy Blue
Seats in the Royal Knesset
64 / 142

The Royalist Conservative Party, also commonly called the Conservatives or the Blues (colloquially), is a contemporary right-wing and nationalist major political party in Yisrael, forming one-half of the country's de facto two-party system in Yisraeli politics, opposed to the center-left by the Alternative for Yisrael (since 2020), and before that, the center/left Constitutional Liberal Party (1923-2019). The Royalist Conservatives are currently the governing party of Yisrael, whose leader Yitzchok Katz is the incumbent President, as well as commanding a coalition majority government in the Knesset led by the Right Bloc, which includes allies the Torah Achdus and the Northern League parties.

Platform and philosophy

The Conservatives are the dominant "big tent" right-wing party in Yisrael. It has been the home for National Religious- and Chardal-interests, and a staunch defender of the monarchy and the halachic state. The party looks to the Neo-Zionist, Religious Zionist, and Revisionist Zionist schools of thought for new public policy inspiration.

While the party was split between pro- and con- factions regarding the 1952 Royal Reform Acts, since the post-Yarden Accords era, the consensus among party faithful was that the 1952 amendments on royal power was wrong and ought to be overturned. This was achieved with the surprise advent of the Hezekian Reaction, whereby the 1952 Acts as pertaining to the monarchy were nullified by extraordinary royal decree. The Blues favor a hawkish foreign-policy and military posture, and decreased social spending in favor of higher military and security allocation and tax cuts. The party's establishment opposes progressive taxation and supports flat taxes and user fees instead. It also supports devolving more power to the Districts and localities.

Along with its frequent ally the Torah Achdus party, the Conservatives are fierce defenders of the enforcement of religious law in response to an increasing consensus among the Con-Libs to statutorily weaken enforcement mechanisms and funding.

History

Organization and hierarchy

Election results and current representation

Current representation

The party leader is the current President of Yisrael, Yitzchok Katz. The chairman of the National Conservative Committee is Zevulon Altman. The head of the party's caucus in the Royal Knesset is Member of Knesset and Majority Leader of the Knesset Binyamin Goldschmidt (RC-Modiin), since January 11, 2016.

Election results

Royal Knesset
Election Leader Seats won +/− Rank Majority
2020 Binyamin Goldschmidt
64 / 142
Increase 5 #1 Majority
2018 Binyamin Goldschmidt
59 / 142
Decrease 5 #1 Majority
2016 Binyamin Goldschmidt
64 / 142
Increase 23 #1 Majority
2014 Binyamin Goldschmidt
41 / 142
Decrease 23 #2 Minority
2012 Binyamin Goldschmidt
64 / 142
Increase 6 #1 Majority
2010 Binyamin Goldschmidt
58 / 142
Increase 6 #1 Majority
2008 Binyamin Goldschmidt
52 / 142
Decrease 5 #2 Minority
2006 Binyamin Goldschmidt
57 / 142
Increase 12 Tie Minority
2004 Binyamin Goldschmidt1 (2004-present)
Noah Andrade1 (2003-2004)
46 / 142
Increase 1 #2 Minority
2002 Noah Andrade2 (2003-2004)
Avi Talpas2 (2000-2003)
45 / 142
Increase 4 #2 Minority
2000 Avi Talpas3 (2000-2003)
Pinchas Ben-Avraham3 (1996-2000)
41 / 142
Decrease 30 #2 Minority
1998 Pinchas Ben-Avraham
71 / 142
Decrease 5 #1 Majority
1996 Pinchas Ben-Avraham
76 / 142
Increase TBD #1 Majority

Notes
1. The current Knesset party leader is Binyamin Goldschmidt, who was elected by his party's MKs into the position in January 2004. He succeeded Noah Andrade, who had taken over in February 2003 from Avi Talpas, who was ousted during the Whirlwind Knesset of 2002. Andrade had barely lasted a year as Knesset party leader, with the unexpected 2004 electoral wave for the Con-Libs causing Andrade to lose his swing-seat. His general election defeat was the only Conservative loss of a Knesset seat in that year's election; the Conservatives cancelled this loss by picking up another swing-seat elsewhere. Andrade had faced sustained Con-Lib attacks and directed fundraising for his Left Bloc opponent. Underestimating his opposition, his defeat caused his retirement. In a leadership contest after the new Knesset session was organized, Goldschmidt, a young rising star from a safe deep-blue Western District seat, narrowly edged out rival contender Moshe Bauman, an older established backbencher, 23-22, to win the role.
2. Avi Talpas, a self-described "happy warrior" who reveled in trolling the ruling Con-Libs, utilized the early 00s new digital media to wide affect, sparking attention-grabbing antics that landed the Conservatives headline stories in the dailies. However, he was notoriously disorganized. He outsourced organizational planning to his top adjutant, Noah Andrade, an ambitious and studious centrist from a swing seat. Deep in the political minority, Talpas focused less on strategic targeting of marginal Knesset seats in favor of a broad partisan broadside against the liberal-leaning Hillel-Halevi administration.
During the Whirlwind Knesset of 2002, Talpas was in his element skewing the Con-Libs during the spring-summer 2002 crisis as the details of the Hillel scandal dripped out into the media. However, once Hillel resigned and Ariel Halevi, the Independent vice-president, took office, he proved a weak foil, as he immediately purged the administration of hard-line Con-Lib partisans in favor of more moderate staff from across the political spectrum and parties. At first, Talpas played up the political chaos on the Con-Lib side; however, as Halevi and his Con-Lib loyalists fractured the Con-Lib ranks in the Knesset, he was less apt at coalition-building.
In July 2002, Halevi and his legislative allies reached out to form a flag coalition. For political expediency, Talpas accepted, not realizing that the unstable governing coalition of Conservatives, their right-wing allies, and the Halevite Independent Liberals limited his ability to poke fun at the majority as his party was now apart of the tepid majority in the Knesset.
This right-center flag coalition, with the Halevites and the Conservatives splitting leadership roles, proved untenable and collapsed by December 2002. In February 2003, his limitations becoming apparent amid rising intraparty angst at perceived lost opportunities to sustain right-wing policy with the Halevites, Talpas' rising critics forced a leadership contest. On February 10, 2003, after Halevi and the mainline Con-Libs had begun to repair their ties, the Conservative MKs voted 31-15 to oust Talpas for his second-in-command, Andrade, who has quietly lobbied for the role and was seen as a more cerebral and strategic choice given caucus-wide feelings of missed opportunities under Talpas.
3. After the electoral route of the Conservatives' bare Knesset majority, support for Ben-Avraham collapsed in the Knesset caucus. On January 18, 2000, minutes before the Knesset caucus' leadership vote of which Ben-Avraham was certain to lose, he resigned as party leader. Avi Talpas, the favorite to succeed him, won the leadership contest unanimously, with Ben-Avraham recusing himself from the vote and instructing his remaining allies to go "with the majority."

International affiliation and criticism

The Conservatives - like their former chief rival the Constitutional Liberals - have a litany of global affiliations with other right-wing and ruling political parties. These include: Sydalon's People's Party, Latium's United Latium, Lihnidos's Conservative-National Alliance, Ghant's Independent Coalition and Conservative Party, Gelonia's Soudarded and Honkadur parties, Arthurista's National Liberal Party, and Vardana's One Vardana.