History of Likud
Revisionist Zionism stems from Theodor Herzl’s Political Zionism and augmented by the ideas of Ze’ev Jabotinsky. In 1925, Jabotinsky established the Revisionist Zionist Alliance, which advocated for the revision of the principles of Political Zionism, aimed specifically at Chaim Weizmann’s appeasement policies toward the British Mandate.
During the seventeenth World Zionist Congress of 1931, Jabotinsky anticipated that he would have a majority vote for his resolution which stated that Zionism’s end goals were the establishment of a Jewish majority and Jewish State in Palestine and on both sides of the Jordan River. When the Congress rejected this plea, Jabotinsky tore up his delegate card and shouted, “This is not a Zionist congress!” This ultimately led to the Revisionists secession from the Zionist Organization.
In 1935, Jabotinsky created the New Zionist Organization (NZO). NZO ideals were based on the establishment of a Jewish State in Eretz Israel. These ideals were to be fulfilled through independent political activities such as immigration. In 1937, Irgun Tzva Leumo (IZL) or Etzel, an underground movement that was ideologically linked to the Revisionist Movement, eventually liberated Israel from the British control.
After the State of Israel was established in 1948, the Revisionist Zionists became the largest right-wing organization in the country. The founding of the Etzel supported Herut (freedom) party by Menachem Begin also in 1948, further reinforced the Revisionists as the two groups merged to form the Herut party.
In the first Knesset, Herut won fourteen seats. Its original MK’s were Begin, Uri Tzvi Greenberg, Yaakov Meridor, Shmuel Katz, Hillel Kook, Yohanon Bader, Chaim Landau, Esther Raziel-Naor, Eri Jabotinsky, Arieh Ben-Eliezer, Avraham Shmuel-Rekanati, Eliahu Lankin, Shmuel Merlin, and Maguri Cohen.
Prior to the 1965 elections to the Sixth Knesset, a union was formed between Herut and the Liberal Party called “Gahal [Gush Herut Liberalim].” Following the Yom Kippur War in 1973, an alliance was formed by Gahal and several right- wing factions including the National List, Free Center, and the Movement for Greater Israel. The alliance was called Likud, meaning “Consolidation”, as it represented the consolidation of the right-wing in Israel.
After the consolidation, it was decided to develop an international wing of the Likud party, which became World Likud. This new initiative transformed into a worldwide bridge between the Revisionists Zionists from the Jewish Diaspora and the supporters of Israel.
Among the former heads of the movement are Ambassador Eliahu Ben Eliesar, MK Rony Milo and Ambassador Zalman Shoval.
World Likud is the umbrella organization for the global Likud branches. Operating under the ideological platform of the Likud Party, World Likud is a highly active organization that focuses on issues concerning the Jewish People in Eretz Ysrael and the Diaspora.