Labor Zionist Party (Acre)
|Labor Zionist Party|
מפלגת העבודה הציונית
|Founded||28 January 2020|
|Ideology|| • Social democracy |
• Labor Zionism
• Israeli interests
• Two-state solution
• Social democracy
• Democratic socialism
• Left-wing nationalism
The Labor Zionist Party is a left-wing political party in the Islamic Emirate of Acre. It seeks to represent Israeli Akkans, who constitute a majority of the Akkan population. The party endorses social democracy, and has a large contingent of socialist supporters. The party is also socially liberal. After the February 2020 general election the party served in government with the Liberal Union - since the October 2020 general election, the LZP has been in coalition government with the Conservative Party and the Movement for the Homeland.
Joseph Cohen Government (February 2020 - October 2020)
The Labor Zionist Party was the first Israeli party to be founded in Acre, created on the 28th of January 2020, one day before the Liberal Union and the Conservative Party. From the outset the party was a coalition between social democrats and democratic socialists - its first leader, Eli Barak being the former. Since its beginning, the LZP has competed with the Liberal Union for Acre's left-leaning Israelis. In the February 2020 general election the party failed in this goal, trailing the Liberals by twenty-five points, winning just four seats in the Akkan Parliament. Nevertheless, the Liberal Union brought them into the government.
In Joseph Cohen's government, the LZP was strongly supportive of the Liberal Union's consensus-driven approach. They were strong advocates of the two-flag, two-religion approach, and pushed the government to create Rabbinical courts to exist alongside the Sharia courts. The LZP also relented on keeping the Akkan Emirate so long as it operated under the principle of parliamentary supremacy, creating a lasting impact on Acre's uncodified constitution.
In the October 2020 general election, the LZP's vote share increased by 4%, winning one seat from the Liberal Union. In turn, the LZP formed a minority government with the Conservative Party and the Movement for the Homeland. Barak was promoted from Speaker to Chancellor. Some members opposed joining a right-wing party in government, though the LZP's nationalist caucus endorsed the move, believing that too many concessions had been given to Arabs by the Cohen government.
Ben Adelman Government (October 2020 - present)
By November, the Adelman government moved to censure Joseph Cohen for his controversial handling of the Coronavirus pandemic. Parliament voted by a margin of 23-11 to censure Cohen, including all Labor Zionist MPs. Some however accused the event of constituting an act of political theatre, as the LZP faced very little scrutiny despite their presence in the Cohen administration, though it was revealed that Barak had privately threatened to revoke his support for Joseph Cohen if a vote on a national lockdown was not held.
Lacking a majority, Adelman called a vote of confidence, potentially hoping for a new election after Cohen's drop in popularity. The government lost the vote by 19-18, triggering the December 2020 general election. Left-leaning Israelis abandoned the Liberal Union en masse, causing a 10% drop in their vote share, and a 5% increase in the Labor vote share, delivering them two additional seats in Parliament. Just as symbolically important was the Labor Party's overtaking the Liberal Union as Acre's largest left-leaning party, with 19% of the vote compared to the Liberal's 17%. Barak re-joined the Conservatives and the Movement in government, who now possessed a majority of three.
The Labor Zionist Party draws on a large number of left-wing ideological currents, including the trade unionist movement, utopian socialist thought, Keynesian economics, and Bernsteinian social democracy. Officially, the party endorses the post-war economic consensus, involving an economy based on free market enterprise alongside a supportive welfare state and government regulation. The party also considers itself to be a steadfast supporter of labour, and advocates for measures such as collective bargaining to improve working conditions. The party often marries this appeal to labour with an appeal to the middle class, reminiscent of Third Way philosophy in the British Labour Party.
Some within the party are more critical of capitalism however. This democratic socialist caucus supports nationalisation of most key industries, and supports programs such as workers' cooperatives, housing cooperatives and universal basic income as stepping-stones to a socialist society.
As its name suggests, the Labor Zionist Party considers itself part of the wider Labor Zionist movement. The party cites the example of the Kibbutz as a distinctly Israeli way of living in an equal and environmentally-friendly way. Some envisage Labor Zionism as a radical utopian socialist movement which can create an entirely new socio-economic order within Israel, while others simply see it as the application of social democracy to a particular set of historical circumstances. The party is unanimous though in their admiration of fellow Labor Zionists such as Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres.
The party is very socially liberal, advocating for LGBT rights, abortion rights and legalisation of cannabis. The party supports the two-flag, two-religion consensus, and promoted the creation of Rabbinical courts for Jewish communities who wish to use them. Unlike the right-wing Israeli parties, the Labor Zionist Party supported the retention of the Akkan Emirate, so long as Parliament operated on a legal principle of parliamentary supremacy.
As a Zionist party, the LZP specifically aims to represent Israeli Akkans, who make up almost the entire voting base of the party. They strongly support Israel's existence, and aim to re-join Israel as a devolved federal region. The party includes a sizeable nationalist caucus, who tend to prefer joining right-wing Israeli parties in coalition government rather than left-wing Arab parties.
The LZP supports a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict, involving the annexation of land between the Green Line and the Israeli West Bank barrier, East Jerusalem and most major Israeli settlements. The party suggests Israel return the Golan Heights to Syria in order to court Arab support for a peace deal, and has also suggested a willingness to disestablish most Israeli settlements located far from the Israel-West Bank border. The party also endorses a cooperative security arrangement with Palestine, wherein Israeli defence forces retain a presence in Palestine to tackle terrorism and guarantee settlers' access to Israel proper.
Sections of the party (usually members of the democratic socialist wing) endorse a one-state solution wherein Israel and Palestine retain separate government structures but have their external security handled by a single authority, with the state sending a single delegation to entities like the United Nations.
Most support for the Labor Zionist Party comes from the working and lower-middle classes. Locations such as Nesher and the area surrounding Haifa Airport regularly vote for the democratic socialist wing of the LZP, while more social democratic candidates tend to see success in the more middle class areas like Kiryat Ata and Nahariya. The party has also seen some success in persuading voters in the liberal-dominated Mount Carmel suburbs, though has been less effective in winning the conservative-dominated eastern suburbs.
|Election year||Leader||%||+/-||seats won||+/-||Government|
|February 2020||Eli Barak||10%||N/A||N/A||in coalition government|
|October 2020||Eli Barak||14%||▲ 4%||▲ 1||in minority government|
|December 2020||Eli Barak||19%||▲ 5%||▲ 2||in coalition government|
|April 2021||Eli Barak||11%||▼ 8%||▼ 3||in opposition|
Timeline of Party Leaders
|Name||Term start||Term end||Notes|
|Eli Barak||28 January 2020||Incumbent|
Social Democratic Caucus
The social democratic caucus are heavily influenced by the Nordic model. Unlike the democratic socialists, they are more sympathetic towards a large private sector, including in certain key industries, but support a comprehensive welfare state, measures such as collective bargaining, and a national healthcare system. The caucus endorses Keynesian economics, seeking to moderate the social ills associated with capitalism, rather than abolish the economic system altogether.
Democratic Socialist Caucus
The democratic socialist caucus believe in the creation of socialism through gradualist, democratic means. The caucus is generally strongly supportive of nationalisation of key industries, a raising of the national minimum wage, rent and price controls, and mandatory unionisation in key economies. Many within the caucus are particularly enamoured by the legacy of the British Fabian Society.
The nationalist caucus is marked by a pre-eminent concern for the protection of Israeli interests and the rights of Jews living in Acre. Generally social-democratic in their economic perspective, the nationalist caucus generally prefers coalitions with right-leaning Israeli parties such as the Conservative Party, instead of left-wing Arab parties such as the People's Democratic Union. Some within the caucus also prefer a one-state solution, wherein Acre joins an enlarged Israel with federal arrangements to protect an Arab-majority Palestine and a devolved Acre.