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Mapam ( , an acronym for Mifleget HaPoalim HaMeuhedet ( ), lit. United Workers Party, , abbreviated 'مبام') was a political party in Israelmarker and is one of the ancestors of the modern-day Meretz party.


Mapam was formed by a January 1948 merger of the Hashomer Hatzair Workers Party and Ahdut HaAvoda Poale Zion Movement. The party was originally Marxist-Zionist in its outlook and represented the left-wing Kibbutz Artzi movement. It also took over the Hashomer Hatzair-affiliated newspaper Al HaMishmar..

In the elections for the first Knesset, Mapam took 19 seats, making it the second largest party after Mapai. As the party did not allow Israeli Arabs to be members at the time, it had also set up an Arab list, the Popular Arab Bloc, to contest the elections (a tactic also used by Mapai, with whom the Democratic List of Nazareth were affiliated). However, the Arab list failed to cross the 1% electoral threshold.

The party's pro-Sovietmarker views did not endear them to Ben-Gurion, and they were not included in the governing coalition. During the session they gained one seat when Eliezer Preminger joined after leaving Maki and then setting up his own party, the Hebrew Communists.

In the 1951 elections the party dropped to 15 seats and again were not included in the coalition. However, they did become the first Zionist party to have an Israeli Arab, Rostam Bastuni, representing them in the Knessetmarker.

From Mapam's point of view, the most important event of the second Knesset were the Prague Trials of 1953, which severely shook the party's faith in the Soviet Union. The show trials in which mostly Jewish leaders of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia were purged, falsely implicated Mapam's envoy in Praguemarker, Mordechai Oren, as part of a Zionist conspiracy. After the Prague Trials and later, Nikita Khrushchev's Secret Speech at the 20th Party Congress in the Soviet Union, Mapam moved away from some of their more radical left wing positions, and towards social democracy.

This created a split in the party. Avraham Berman, Rostam Bastuni and Moshe Sneh left the party and set up the Left Faction, whilst Hannah Lamdan and David Livschitz created Faction independent of Ahdut HaAvoda. Although Bastuni later returned to the party, Berman and Sneh eventually joined Maki and Lamdan and Livschitz joined Mapai. Four other party members left to recreate Ahdut HaAvoda, though the Knesset speaker did not recognise the group as an independent party during the Knesset session. It also displeased the USSR.

Although it had been reduced to seven seats by the end of the second Knesset, the party picked up nine seats in the 1955 elections. Having effectively renounced the Soviet Union, Mapam were now included in Ben Gurion's coalitions for both the seventh and eighth governments. However, they were to blame for Ben- Gurion's resignation and the collapse of the government on 5 July 1959 when they and Ahdut HaAvoda voted against the government on the issue of selling arms to West Germanymarker but refused to leave the coalition.

In the 1959 elections the party retained its nine seats, and despite their previous differences, were included in Ben-Gurion's coalition.

In the 1961 elections they again won nine seats, but this time were not members of the governing coalition.

The 1965 elections saw the party lose a seat, dropping to eight mandates, but enter into the coalition government. In January 1969 the party formed an alliance with the Israeli Labor Party, which was named the Alignment. The Alignment went on to win the highest ever number of seats in the 1969 elections (56 out of 120). At the time, Soviet commentators described the MAPAM as “one of the most reactionary ones among the left-socialist parties.”

Mapam briefly broke away from the Alignment during the eighth Knesset, but returned shortly after. The party then remained part of the Alignment until after the 1984 elections, when it broke away due to anger over Shimon Peres's decision to form a national unity government with Likud, taking six seats with it (later reduced to five when Muhammed Wattad defected to Hadash). However, in the 1988 elections the party won only three seats.

As a result of their declining support, the party joined with Ratz and Shinui to form Meretz, a new left-wing, social-democratic and pro-peace alliance, which became the fourth largest party in the Knesset in the 1992 elections.

In 1995 the party's newspaper, Al HaMishmar, ceased publication. In 1997 the merger into Meretz with Ratz and part of Shinui (most of its membership did not agree with the merger and reformed as an independent party headed by Avraham Poraz) was formalised and Mapam ceased to exist.

Knesset members

Knesset Members
1 (1949-1951)
Moshe Aram, Menachem Bader, Dov Bar-Nir (replaced by Menachem Ratzon on 10 April 1951), Yisrael Bar-Yehuda, Yitzhak Ben-Aharon, Mordechai Bentov, Yisrael Galili, Ya'akov Hazan, Fayge Ilanit, Hannah Lamdan, Nahum Nir, Eliezer Peri, Beryl Raptor, Ya'akov Riftin, Hanan Rubin, Moshe Sneh, Yitzhak Tabankin (replaced by David Livschitz on 12 April 1951), Meir Ya'ari, Aharon Zisling, Eliezer Preminger (joined from the Hebrew Communists on 15 August 1949)
2 (1951-1955)
Rostam Bastuni, Mordechai Bentov, Ya'akov Hazan, Eliezer Peri, Ya'akov Riftin, Hanan Rubin, Meir Ya'ari, Moshe Aram,¹ Yisrael Bar-Yehuda,¹ Yitzhak Ben-Aharon,¹ Aharon Zisling,¹ Avraham Berman,² Moshe Sneh,² Hannah Lamdan,³ David Livschitz³
¹ Left party to establish Ahdut HaAvoda on 23 October 1954
² Left party to establish the Left Faction on 20 February 1952
³ Left party to establish the Faction independent of Ahdut HaAvoda on 20 January 1953

3 (1955-1959)
Yisrael Barzilai, Mordechai Bentov, Ya'akov Hazan, Ya'akov Riftin, Hanan Rubin, Emma Talmi, Meir Ya'ari, Haim Yehuda, Yitzhak Yitzhaky (replaced by Yussuf Hamis on 21 September 1955)
4 (1959-1961)
Yisrael Barzilai, Mordechai Bentov, Yussuf Hamis, Ya'akov Hazan, Ya'akov Riftin, Hanan Rubin, Emma Talmi, Meir Ya'ari, Haim Yehuda (replaced by Yosef Kushnir on 10 July 1960)
5 (1961-1965)
Yisrael Barzilai, Mordechai Bentov, Yussuf Hamis, Ya'akov Hazan, Ya'akov Riftin, Hanan Rubin (replaced by Yosef Kushnir), Victor Shem-Tov, Emma Talmi, Meir Ya'ari
6 (1965-1969)
Reuven Arazi, Ya'akov Hazan, Natan Peled, Shlomo Rosen, Victor Shem-Tov, Emma Talmi, Meir Yaari, Abd el-Aziz el-Zoubi (all merged into the Alignment)
7 (1969-1974)
Reuven Arazi, Haika Grossman, Abd el-Aziz el-Zoubi, Dov Zakin, Ya'akov Hazan, Meir Ya'ari, Shlomo Rosen
8 (1973-1977)
Yehuda Dranitzki, Aharon Efrat, Haika Grossman, Eliezer Ronen, Meir Talmi, Dov Zakin, Abd el-Aziz el-Zoubi (replaced by Haviv Shimoni of the Labor Party on 14 February 1974)
9 (1977-1981)
Haika Grossman, Moshe Amar, Naftali Feder, Meir Talmi, Emri Ron (replaced Haim Yosef Zadok of the Labor Party on 2 January 1978)
10 (1981-1984)
Elazar Granot, Muhammed Wattad, Dov Zakin, Naftali Feder, Yair Tzaban, Emri Ron, Victor Shem-Tov
11 (1984-1988)
Elazar Granot, Haika Grossman, Amira Sartani, Victor Shem-Tov (replaced by Gadi Yatziv on 15 March 1988), Yair Tzaban, Muhammed Wattad (left to join Hadash on 12 July 1988)

Hussein Faris, Haim Oron, Yair Tzaban
13 (1992-1996)
Haim Oron, Walid Haj Yahia, Yair Tzaban, Anat Maor
14 (1996-1997)
Haim Oron, Walid Haj Yahia, Anat Maor


  1. Mezhdunarodnaya Zizhn -- cited in edition Välispanoraam 1972, Tallinn, 1973, lk 147 (Foreign Panorama 1972)

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