Movement for Civil Rights and Peace

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MOVEMENT FOR CIVIL RIGHTS AND PEACE

Israeli political entity, dissident from the Labor Party, founded in 1973 by Shulamit Aloni, Raanan Cohen, and Yossi Sarid. Favoring peace with Arab countries, the Movement for Civil Rights and Peace (RATZ) upheld human rights, and favored the separation of state and religion. In the elections of 1973, it obtained three seats in the Knesset. In June 1974, Aloni joined the government of Yitzhak Rabin as minister without portfolio. In the Knesset elections of 1977 to 1981, RATZ won only one seat, filled by Aloni. Progressively the leader of RATZ succeeded in becoming visible in the Israeli political arena and, as a result of the elections of 1988, her party captured five deputy seats. In 1992, the leadership of RATZ decided to merge with the Shinui Party and MAPAM, to create a new Parliamentary bloc of the center left, the Meretz Party, which obtained twelve seats in the next Knesset elections (June 1992). The two main figures in RATZ joined the government of Yitzhak Rabin: Aloni (who became minister of education) and Sarid (minister of the environment). The stalling of the peace process with the Palestinians and personal conflict between Aloni and Sarid led to a weakening of RATZ, while also prompting Aloni to resign. Sarid succeeded her as the head of the party. In August 1999, the latter was named minister of education in the Barak government, while Ranaan Cohen was given the portfolio of commerce and industry.

SEE ALSO MAPAM; Meretz Party; Shinui Party.