Meimad (Hebrew: מימד, an acronym for Medina Yehudit, Medina Demokratit (מדינה יהודית, מדינה דמוקרטית‎), lit., Jewish State, Democratic State)[3] is a moderate to left-wing religious Zionist political party in Israel.[4][5][6] Founded in 1999, it is based on the ideology of the Meimad movement founded in 1988 by Rabbi Yehuda Amital. It was formed by religious Zionists who supported the peace process and believed the National Religious Party had drifted too far to the right.[7][8]

LeaderYehuda Amital
Michael Melchior
IdeologyReligious Zionism
Social democracy
Two-state solution
Political positionCenter-left[1]
ReligionOrthodox Judaism[2]
Most MKs2 (1999, 2001)
Election symbol

At the national level, it was in alliance with the Labour Party, and until the 2006 election, received the 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.[citation needed]

History edit

The Meimad movement was founded on 1 June 1988 by Rabbi Yehuda Amital,[9] and included former National Religious Party Knesset member Yehuda Ben-Meir. It emerged from Oz ve Shalom, an Orthodox Jewish peace movement.[4] It contested the 1988 Knesset elections, receiving 0.7% of the vote and failing to cross the 1% electoral threshold.

Eleven years later, a political party for the movement was established, and joined the One Israel alliance that won the Knesset elections that year.[5] 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.[10]

In November 2008, minister and former Labor Party member Ami Ayalon joined Meimad.[11] 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.[citation needed]

Shortly afterwards, Ayalon announced his resignation from politics,[12] and the party formed an umbrella alliance with the Green Movement.[13]

In 2012, Melchior announced that he would not stand for election.[14] The party was revived in 2018.[9]

Ideology edit

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.[15] 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.[citation needed]

Election results edit

Election Leader Votes % Seats +/– Status
1988 Yehuda Amital 15,783 0.69 (#17)
0 / 120
New Extraparliamentary
1992 Did not contest Extraparliamentary
1996 Extraparliamentary
1999 Michael Melchior Part of One Israel
1 / 120
  1 Coalition
2003 With Labor
1 / 120
  1 Opposition (2003–2005)
Coalition (2005)
Opposition (2005–2006)
1 / 120
2009 With the Green Movement
0 / 120
  1 Extraparliamentary

References edit

  1. ^ Ehud Zion Waldoks (20 January 2009). "Green Movement-Meimad to stress environmental issues in elections". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 21 June 2015.
  2. ^ Silberstein, Laurence J. (February 1993). Jewish Fundamentalism in Comparative Perspective: Religion, Ideology, and the Crisis of Morality. ISBN 9780814779668.
  3. ^ Kaplan, Robert D. (January 2000). "Judaism's Challenge". The Atlantic. Retrieved 22 April 2022.
  4. ^ a b Can Faiths Make Peace?: Holy Wars and the Resolution of Religious Conflicts. Philip Broadhead, Damien Keown. London: I.B. Tauris. 2007. pp. 12–13. ISBN 978-1-4356-1230-3. OCLC 182846812.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  5. ^ a b World Encyclopedia of Political Systems and Parties. George E. Delury, Neil Schlager (4 ed.). New York, NY: Facts on File. 2006. pp. 653–655. ISBN 0-8160-5953-5. OCLC 61748377.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  6. ^ Maltz, Judy (9 June 2018). "Disgusted by Far-right Policies, Some Religious Zionists in Israel Look Left for New Leadership". Haaretz. Archived from the original on 25 August 2022. Retrieved 25 August 2022. What Meimad offers them that other left-wing parties do not, [Melchior] adds, is a platform that "addresses issues from a Jewish perspective."
  7. ^ Bernard Reich; David H. Goldberg (2008). Historical Dictionary of Israel. Scarecrow Press. p. 390. ISBN 9780810864030. Retrieved 21 June 2015.
  8. ^ Tom Lansford (2014). Political Handbook of the World 2014. CQ Press. p. 702. ISBN 9781483333274. Retrieved 21 June 2015.
  9. ^ a b Hoffman, Gil (7 June 2018). "Religious-Zionist Meimad party reviving". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 22 April 2022.
  10. ^ Brinkley, Joel (18 October 1988). "Keys to Israeli Vote: The Orthodox and the Arabs". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 October 2014.
  11. ^ Somfalvi, Attila (17 November 2008). "Ami Ayalon won't join Meretz". Ynet. Retrieved 17 November 2008.
  12. ^ Gil Hoffman (14 December 2008). "Ayalon declares he is quitting politics". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 21 June 2015.
  13. ^ Ehud Zion Waldoks (18 December 2008). "Green Movement, Meimad run together". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 21 June 2015.
  14. ^ Melchoir, Michael (11 December 2012). "Pursuing the Meimad mission from beyond the political arena". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 30 October 2014.
  15. ^ Lintl, Peter, ed. (June 2018). "Actors in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Interests, Narratives and the Reciprocal Effects of the Occupation" (PDF). Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik. German Institute for International and Security Affairs: 8.

External links edit