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June 9, 1981
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Tehiya is a direct offspring of the Israel-Egyptian peace treaty which it vociferously opposes. It was formed when MK Geula Cohen, a Herut firebrand and once worshipful disciple of Begin, quit her party over the treaty, accusing Begin of “betrayal.” She was joined by Moshe Shamir, another Herut defector, Gush Emunim leaders such as Hannan Porat, and Yuval Ne’eman, an ultra-hawkish professor of physics at Tel Aviv University whose prominence in scientific circles at home and abroad lent stature to the new faction.

Tehiya’s platform is simple: turn back the clock. With less than a year to go before Israel completes the final stage of its withdrawal from Sinai it hopes the evacuation of the peninsula can be stopped — with obvious consequences for the peace treaty. The party is also campaigning against the autonomy plan for the West Bank and Gaza Strip. It demands that those territories — and the Golan Heights — be annexed to Israel forthwith. Cohen achieved a major victory last year when a private members bill she introduced in the Knesset forced the government and the opposition to vote in favor of the controversial Jerusalem Law which declared undivided Jerusalem to be the “eternal capital of Israel.”

Tehiya is convinced that Likud will be unable to form a new government without its support. Although Cohen says the party is not interested in joining a coalition, it will support a coalition that meets its hawkish demands. According to Cohen, if youth between 15 and 18 could vote, they would vote for Tehiya.

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