Skip to main content

Meretz Party

MERETZ PARTY

Israeli center-left parliamentary political bloc, separated from the Labor Party, created in 1992 by the union of three political groups: MAPAM, RATZ (Movement for Civil Rights and Peace), and Shinui. The three parties that made up Meretz supported the Israeli-Arab peace process and rejected religious coercion. They were favorable to the existence of a Palestinian entity, coexistence between Israel and Arab states, and opposed to the division of Jerusalem. In the socioeconomic domain, on the other hand, profound differences opposed the Shinui, propounding liberal capitalism, to RATZ and MAPAM, which were openly radical-socialist.

In the elections of June 1992, Meretz won twelve seats in the Knesset, contributing to the return of the Israeli left to power under Yitzhak Rabin, and Meretz became Labor's main coalition partner. Four of its members joined the government of Yitzhak Rabin: Shulamit Aloni (education minister), Amnon Rubinstein (science and energy minister), Yair Tsaban (immigration minister), and Ran Cohen (deputy minister of housing). Tension between Meretz and the SHAS religious party was a factor in the weakening of the Rabin government, which Meretz reproached for the absence of "tangible progress in the domain of peace with the Palestinians and with Syria." In May 1993, a cabinet reshuffle allowed Walid Tsadik, Israeli Arab member of Meretz, to join the Rabin government as deputy minister of agriculture, thereby strengthening this party's position in the government coalition. The naming of Meretz member Walid Tsadik provoked resentment on the part of the Arab Democratic Party, which had been supporting the Labor Party since 1988, without obtaining any ministerial post. During the first semester of 1994, Meretz threatened to quit the government, after it was announced that Tzomet would be joining the government and SHAS entering the Rabin cabinet. Internal conflicts, provoked by ideological divergences between the three parties constituting Meretz, and personal differences within each of the parties, resulted in a weakening of Meretz, which emerged from the elections of June 1996 with nine seats in the Knesset.

In August 1997, a delegation of some thirty Israeli Arabs made an official visit to Damascus, where it was received by Hafiz al-Asad. This visit was the first of its kind since the creation of the State of Israel. In the municipal elections of 10 November 1998, Meretz won ten seats on the city council of Jerusalem. On 18 May 1999, in the Knesset elections that saw the victory of Ehud Barak, Meretz strengthened its position, obtaining ten seats. One of these seats was taken by Husniya Jabara, who became the first Arab woman to enter the Knesset. On 6 July, in spite of significant participation of members of SHAS in the cabinet of Ehud Barak, three members of Meretz accepted ministerial portfolios: Yossi Sarid in education, Chaim Oron in agriculture, and Ran Cohen in commerce and industry. On 21 June 2000, facing constant opposition from SHAS members, the Meretz ministers resigned from the Barak government, but the movement decided to continue supporting the government in the Knesset. The principal members of Meretz in 2004 were: Yossi Sarid (RATZ), Raʾan Cohen (RATZ), Anat Maor (MAPAM), Avraham Poraz (Shinui), Yair Tsaban (MAPAM), Chaim Oron (MAPAM), Walid Tsadik, Amos Oz, Husniya Jabara, Shulamit Aloni (RATZ), Zahava Galon. In the 2003 election Meretz received
5.2 percent of the vote (six seats in the Knesset).


SEE ALSO Arab Democratic Party; Barak, Ehud; MAPAM; Movement for Civil Rights and Peace; Rabin, Yitzhak; Sarid, Yossi; SHAS; Shinui Party.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Meretz Party." Dictionary of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. . Encyclopedia.com. 24 May. 2019 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Meretz Party." Dictionary of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. . Encyclopedia.com. (May 24, 2019). https://www.encyclopedia.com/politics/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/meretz-party

"Meretz Party." Dictionary of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. . Retrieved May 24, 2019 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/politics/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/meretz-party

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.