Agudat Yisrael, a Haredi-Hassidic party, was established in 1912 in the Diaspora. The famous letter from David Ben-Gurion which set down the guidelines of the religious "status quo" was sent to the leaders of Agudat Yisrael in 1947. Agudat Yisrael was represented in all of the Knessets, either as an independent parliamentary, or as part of a larger unified religious bloc. In the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Knessets, Agudat Yisrael entered the Knesset as part of the Yahadut Hatorah Parliamentary Group together with the Degel Hatorah, but prior to the elections of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Knessets, Yahadut Hatorah separated into its two parties for administrative purposes. Agudat Yisrael participated in a number of parliamentary coalitions, but mostly was not represented by ministers in the government. The party is largely sectorial, caring for the welfare of its constituents in areas of educational institutions, housing, welfare services, transfer payments and exemption from military service, and the Jewish-religious character of the State. In the past, Agudat Yisrael was not identified clearly on the Right-Left political spectrum, though since the beginning of the political process in the early 1990ís, it is identified with nationalistic positions.
The Knessets in Which it Served:
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