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Meimad (Hebrew: מימד, an acronym for Medina Yehudit, Medina Demokratit (מדינה יהודית, מדינה דמוקרטית), lit., Jewish State, Democratic State) is a left-wing religious Zionist political party in Israel. Founded in 1999, it is based on the ideology of the Meimad movement founded in 1988 by Rabbi Yehuda Amital. It was formed by dovish religious Zionists who supported the peace process and believed the National Religious Party had drifted too far to the right.
|Most MKs||2 (1999, 2001)|
At the national level, it was in alliance with the Labour Party, and, until the 2006 elections, received 10th spot on the Labour Knesset list. Meimad ended the pact with the 2009 election, formed an alliance with the Green Movement, and failed to win enough votes to be elected to the Knesset.
The Meimad movement was founded on 1 June 1988 by Rabbi Yehuda Amital, and included former National Religious Party Knesset member Yehuda Ben-Meir. It contested the November 1988 Knesset elections, receiving 0.7% of the vote and failing to cross the 1% electoral threshold. Eleven years later, a political arm was established, and joined the One Israel alliance that won the Knesset elections that year. Meimad received one seat, taken by Michael Melchior. It gained a second when Yehuda Gilad replaced Maxim Levy in 2002. Tova Ilan also represented Meimad in the Knesset for a brief spell in 2006, after several other Labour MKs resigned. It attracted moderates among immigrants from the English-speaking world, including Shimon Glick.
In November 2008, minister and former Labour Party member Ami Ayalon joined Meimad. In the same month, the party ended its alliance with Labour after being told that 10th spot on the list would no longer be reserved for Meimad for the 2009 legislative elections.
In 2012, Melchior announced that he would not stand for election.
The party emphasizes the values of many social democratic parties, except on religious issues. Meimad, like Labour, takes a center-left approach to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. However, it supports religious studies in the main curriculum of Israel's public schools, and encourages the use of rabbinical courts in addition to civil courts.
Under Melchior, the party has taken an even more left-leaning approach - both in foreign and, especially, in domestic affairs. The party has run in municipal elections in 2003, winning a number of key seats in Tel Aviv. It also ran together with Meretz party in Haifa in which it shares a seat under a rotation agreement. Shlomo Yaakov Rapaport serves on the Haifa city council representing Meimad, and is the chairman of the Haifa Aliyah and absorption committee, and the chairman of the municipal committee against alcohol and drug abuse.
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