- Agudat Israel (Society of Israel)
A clericalist political party of ultra-Orthodox Jews, founded
in Poland in 1912 and established in Palestine in the early
1920s. In 1949 it formed part of the United Religious Front
(q.v.); in 1955 and 1959 it joined Poalei Agudat
Israel to form the Torah Religious Front (q.v.).
Originally anti- Zionist and messianic, in the 1980s this
non-Zionist party, together with its Council of Torah Sages,
still favored a theocracy and increased state financial support
for its religious institutions.
- Ahdut HaAvoda (Unity of Labor)
The party, founded in 1919 as successor to Poalei Tziyyon
(q.v.), had three separate existences: from 1919
to 1930, when it merged with HaPoel HaTzair (q.v.)
to form Mapai (q.v.); in 1944 its name was taken
over by Siah B (Bet-- Faction B), a faction that split from
Mapai and formed a new party with HaKibbutz HaMeuhad (United
Kibbutz Movement); and the last beginning in 1954 when Ahdut
HaAvoda was reconstituted by the HaKibbutz HaMeuhad faction
when it broke off from Mapam (q.v.). Ahdut HaAvoda
was aligned with Mapai from 1965 to 1968 when both were absorbed
into the Labor Party.
- Arab Democratic Party
An Israeli Arab party founded in 1988 by Abdel Wahab Daroushe,
a former Labor Party Knesset member.
A Revisionist Zionist youth organization founded in 1923
in Riga, Latvia, under the influence of Jabotinsky; it later
formed the nucleus for Herut.
- Citizens' Rights Movement (CRM)
Founded in 1973 by Shulamit Aloni, a former Labor Party Knesset
member, the CRM advocates strengthening civil rights in Israel
and greater compromise on Israeli-Palestinian issues.
- Degel HaTorah (Torah Flag)
Formed in 1988, the clericalist party is a Shas (q.v.)-led
Ashkenazi spinoff among the ultra-Orthodox community.
- Democratic Movement for Change (DMC)
Founded in 1976 by Yigal Yadin and several other groups,
of which the principal one was Shinui (q.v.). It
broke up in 1979 when Shinui left over the issue of continued
participation in the Likud government.
- Free Center
A faction that splintered from Herut (q.v.) in 1967.
From 1967 to 1973, the Free Center was a party in its own
right. It became a faction in Likud (q.v.) from 1973
to 1977 and joined the Democratic Movement for Change in 1977.
Its principal leader was Shmuel Tamir.
- Gahal (Acronym for Gush Herut-Liberalim, Freedom-Liberal Bloc;
also known as Herut-Liberal Bloc)
A political coalition list created in 1965 by an electoral
combination of the Liberal Party (q.v.) and Herut
(q.v.) to compete against the 1965 and 1969 Mapai
(q.v.)-led electoral alignments. In 1967 on the eve
of the outbreak of the Arab-Israeli War, Gahal joined a National
Unity Government; in 1973 Gahal became part of the Likud Bloc
- Gush Emunim (Bloc of the Faithful)
A militant right-wing extremist religio-nationalist settlement
movement that seeks to impose Israeli sovereignty on the West
- HaPoel HaMizrahi (Spiritual Center Worker)
Orthodox religious workers' movement founded in Palestine
in 1922 by a left-wing faction of Mizrahi (q.v.).
In 1956 it joined Mizrahi to form the National Religious Party
- HaPoel HaTzair (The Young Worker)
A Labor Zionist political party founded and active in Palestine
from 1905 to 1930.
- Herut (Abbreviation for Tnuat HaHerut, or Freedom Movement)
Right-wing political party founded by remnants of the Irgun
(see Glossary), following its disbandment in 1948. It was
led by former Irgun commander Menachem Begin and is the direct
ideological descendant of Revisionist Zionism (q.v.).
In the 1980s, Herut was the dominant component in the Likud
- Laam (For the Nation)
A party established in 1968 by remnants of Rafi (q.v.),
which allied itself with Gahal. In 1973 it combined with the
State List and followers of the Movement for Greater Israel
to become a faction in Likud (q.v.).
- Labor Party
The Labor Party, founded in 1968, resulted from the merger
of Mapai (q.v.), Ahdut HaAvoda (q.v.), and
Rafi (q.v.). Representation in top Labor Party institutions
was based on a proportion of 57.3 percent for Mapai and 21.3
percent for each of the other two. This factional system broke
down following the ascension to power in June 1974 of the
younger generation triumvirate of Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres,
and Yigal Allon, who were less tied to the former factions.
Following the 1984 Knesset elections, the Labor Party assumed
an independent existence upon the dissolution of the Maarakh
(q.v.) when it went into the National Unity Government
- Labor Zionism
Zionist movements and parties committed to the development
of a democratic-socialist political economy in Israel.
- Liberal Party
The second major component in the Likud Bloc; a middle-class
party formed in 1961 from the merger of the Progressives and
- Likud or Likud Bloc (Union)
The Likud Bloc was founded in preparation for the 1973 elections
when the Free Center (q.v.) and Laam (q.v.)
joined Gahal (q.v.). In 1984 Likud formed the National
Unity Government with the Labor Party (q.v.).
- Maarakh (Alignment)
An electoral and parliamentary alignment on the national
and municipal levels between the Labor Party and Mapam, from
1969 to 1984.
- Maki (Acronym for Miflaga Kommunistit Yisraelit, or Communist
Party of Israel)
The party was founded in 1949. In 1965 it broke into two
factions: Maki and Rakah (q.v.). Maki continued to
have as members primarily Jewish communists. The electoral
list of Maki and Rakah, which joined in the 1973 elections,
was called Moked (Focus). In 1977 Maki joined with several
other groups to create Shelli (acronym for Peace for Israel
and Equality for Israel), a party which disbanded before the
- Mapai (acronym for Mifleget Poalei Eretz Israel-Israel Workers'
Mapai resulted from the 1930 merger between the main prestate
Labor Zionist parties, Ahdut HaAvoda (q.v.) and HaPoel
HaTzair (q.v.). In 1920 the two parties together
had founded the Histadrut. In 1944 a small left-wing kibbutz-based
faction seceded from Mapai and reconstituted itself as Ahdut
HaAvoda-Poalei Tziyyon (Unity of Labor-Workers of Zion). Nevertheless,
Mapai became the dominant party in the Yishuv and later in
Israel; after 1968 it was the dominant faction in the Labor
- Mapam (Acronym for Mifleget Poalim Meuchedet-United Workers'
Mapam resulted in January 1948 from the merger of two Labor
Zionist kibbutz-based parties, HaShomer HaTzair (The Young
Watchman, which had been founded in 1913 as a youth movement
and became a political party in 1946) and Ahdut HaAvoda-Poalei
Tziyyon. The party also contained remnants of the former Poalei
Tziyyon (q.v.). Mapam split in 1954, with former
members of HaShomer HaTzair remaining, while former members
of Ahdut HaAvoda- Poalei Tziyyon left to form Ahdut HaAvoda
(q.v.). The formation of the Labor Party in 1968
caused Mapam to reverse its previous opposition to unity among
Labor Zionist parties and to join an electoral alliance (Maarakh--Alignment)
with the Labor Party in 1969. There was much criticism within
Mapam that, as the junior partner of the Alignment, the party
seemed excessively subservient to Labor's status-quo oriented
policies, particularly on the issue of the future of the West
Bank and the Gaza Strip. Mapam broke away from the Alignment
and resumed its independent existence in the fall of 1984,
when the Labor Party decided to join Likud (q.v.)
in forming the National Unity Government.
- Mizrahi (Spiritual Center)
Established in 1902 as an Orthodox religious Zionist party.
In 1949 Mizrahi became part of the United Religious Front.
In 1956 it joined HaPoel HaMizrahi (q.v.) to form
the National Religious Party (q.v.).
- Moledet (Homeland)
An extremist right-wing ultranationalist party founded in
1988 by a retired Israel Defense Forces (IDF) general, Rehavam
- Morasha (Heritage)
A religio-nationalist party led by Rabbi Chaim Druckman that
broke away from the National Religious Party (q.v.)
in 1984. In 1986 it was reincorporated into the National Religious
- National Religious Party (NRP) (also known as Mafdal--acronym
for HaMiflagah HaDatit-Leumit)
The NRP was formed in 1956 with the merger of two Orthodox
parties: HaPoel HaMizrahi (q.v.) and Mizrahi (q.v.).
From the founding of the state in 1948 to 1977, the NRP (or
its predecessors) was the ally of the Labor Party (or its
predecessors) in forming Labor-led coalition governments;
in return the NRP was awarded control of the Ministry of Religious
Affairs. In 1981 the NRP's electoral support declined from
its traditional twelve seats to six as a result of the formation
of Tami (q.v.) and Tehiya (q.v.). In 1984
the NRP suffered a further decline of two seats with the formation
of Morasha (q.v.) by a former NRP faction.
- Peace Now
A movement established after the October 1973 War, advocating
territorial compromise over the West Bank and the Gaza Strip
in order to achieve peaceful relations with the Palestinian
Arabs and the Arab states.
- Poalei Tziyyon (Workers of Zion)
A Marxist Labor Zionist party founded in Palestine in 1906;
in 1919 it was incorporated into the original Ahdut HaAvoda.
- Progressive National Movement (also known as Progressive List
The joint Arab-Jewish party was established in 1984 and advocated
the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel.
- Rafi (Israel Labor List)
The party was created in 1965 when David Ben-Gurion and some
of his supporters broke away from Mapai. In 1968 most of the
party's activists (except for Ben-Gurion) returned, and together
with Mapai and Ahdut HaAvoda, formed the Labor Party.
- Rakah (New Communist List)
The communist party created by a faction that broke off in
1965 from Maki (q.v.) (Communist Party of Israel).
In the 1973 elections Rakah and Maki created a joint electoral
list called Moked (Focus). Rakah consisted primarily of Arab
communists and participated in the 1988 elections.
- Revisionist Zionism
A right-wing Zionist party and movement founded in 1925 by
Vladimir Jabotinsky; it demanded a revision of the conciliatory
policy by the Zionist Executive toward the British mandatory
- Shas (Sephardic Torah Guardians)
A clericalist and theocratic party formed in 1984 by former
Agudat Israel (q.v.) members to represent the interests
of the ultra-Orthodox Sephardim.
- Shelli (Acronym for Peace for Israel and Equality for Israel)
A party created in 1977 by Maki (q.v.) and several
other groups. It disbanded before the 1984 elections.
- Shinui (Change)
Founded by Amnon Rubenstein in 1973 as a protest movement
against the October 1973 War. In 1976, in preparation for
the May 1977 elections, Shinui joined with other groups to
create the Democratic Movement for Change (DMC), led by Yigal
Yadin. In 1979 Shinui broke away from the DMC and created
its own political party. In the 1988 elections its Knesset
representation declined from three to two seats.
- Tami (Traditional Movement of Israel)
Established in 1981 by an Oriental faction within the National
Religious Party (q.v.) led by former Minister of
Religious Affairs Aharon Abuhatzeira to represent the interests
of Sephardim. In 1988 Tami became a faction in the Likud Bloc
- Tehiya (Renaissance)
A right-wing religio-nationalist group that broke away from
the National Religious Party (q.v.) in 1981. The
party advocates the eventual imposition of Israeli sovereignty
over the West Bank, accompanied by the transfer to the Arab
countries of its Palestinian Arab inhabitants.
- Torah Religious Front
Formed by Agudat Israel (q.v.) and Poalei Agudat
Israel (Workers' Society of Israel) to campaign in the 1955
and 1959 elections. The front excluded the two Mizrahi religious
parties, claiming they were insufficiently committed to the
concept of a Torah state. The Torah Religious Front was dissolved
prior to the 1961 elections.
- United Religious Front
Electoral alliance created in 1949 composed of the four religious
parties: Mizrahi (q.v.), HaPoel HaMizrahi (q.v.),
Poalei Agudat Israel (Workers' Society of Israel), and Agudat
Israel (q.v.). As of 1951 the four parties campaigned
- Yahad (Together)
An electoral list formed by Ezer Weizman in 1981; in 1984
it joined the Labor Party as a faction.