(Mifleget Poalei Eretz Yisrael—Israel Workers Party)
   Mapai originated with the union of two smaller political parties, Ahdut Haavoda and Hapoel Hatzair, in 1930, but the roots of the movement can be traced to the turn of the century in Europe, especially Russia. Its program, a combination of Zionist and socialist ideologies, focused on the development of the Jewish people in Eretz Israel as a free working people rooted in an agricultural and industrial economy and developing its own Hebrew culture. It supported membership in the world movement of the working class and cooperation in the struggle to eliminate class subjugation and social injustice in any form. Mapai soon became the dominant party in the Yishuv and controlled the Histadrut as well as the national council and the Jewish Agency. Many of the noted figures in the creation of Israel came from Mapai, including David Ben-Gurion, Moshe Sharett (formerly Shertok), Golda Meir (formerly Meyerson), Moshe Dayan, and others.
   In the elections for the Knesset from Israel's independence until 1965, when it ran in the framework of the Alignment, Mapai won the largest number of seats, and its leader was given the mandate to form the government. All of Israel's prime ministers and Histadrut secretaries general, as well as many other senior members of the Israeli administrations and political elite, were Mapai members in the period from its founding until its merger into the Israel Labor Party. It was the leading member of all government coalitions and generally held the key portfolios of defense, foreign affairs, and finance, as well as the post of prime minister. The party permeated the government, the bureaucracy, the economy, and most of the other institutions of Israel. Political advancement in Israel and party membership were generally coincident. In 1965, Mapai joined with Ahdut Haavoda to form the Alignment to contest the Knesset election. In 1968, the Alignment joined with Rafi to form the Israel Labor Party.
   See also Political parties.

Historical Dictionary of Israel. .

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Mapai —       early and major labour party in Palestine–Israel that in 1930 became the central partner in the Israel Labour Party (q.v.). * * * …   Universalium

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