Israeli Election Poster United Workers Party 1948


1 in stock

Dimensions48 × 67 cm
Artist / Creator






67×48 cm ~ 26×19 inch



Vintage Israeli Election Poster United Workers Party 1948 VOTE M

Mapam was formed by a January 1948 merger of the kibbutz-based Hashomer Hatzair Workers Party, the non-kibbutz-based Socialist League, and the left-Labor Zionist 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 received 19 seats, making it the second largest party after the mainstream Labor Zionist Mapai. As the party did not allow non-Jews 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-Soviet 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 Knesset. 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 Prague, 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, while Hannah Lamdan and David Livschitz created a 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 Germany 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 Mapam as “one of the most reactionary ones among the left-socialist parties”.[2] 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 (much is not most of Shinui’s membership did not agree with the merger, and reformed as an independent party headed by Avraham Poraz) was formalised and Mapam (and Ratz) ceased to exist. From 1951 to 1979, Mapam also published an Arabic newspaper Al-Mirsad (“Observation post”, named similarly to the Hebrew newspaper Al HaMishmar which means “On the lookout”). It appeared weekly, except for a short period as a daily.[3]Social realism

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