General Zionists


General Zionists

Founded in 1931

The General Zionists (Tziyonim Kelaliyim), a liberal party espousing a free market and private enterprise, was founded in the early 1930s and was an important political power until 1961, when it joined with the Progressive Party to establish the Israeli Liberal Party. Alongside its right-wing economic positions, the party adopted a moderate political and security line. The party gained popularity in the period of economic shortages, when it was the main force opposing the government’s budgetary policy. As a result, it received 20 seats in the 1951 elections for the Second Knesset. This achievement made it the second largest party and represented the height of its political power. The party was also very active in local governments and its members served as mayors of Tel Aviv, Ramat Gan, and Netanya.

Election Year Votes Count Number Of Seats Share Of Votes List Of Candidates Platform
1959 59,700 8 6.2 Candidates Candidates
1955 87,099 13 10.2 Candidates Candidates
1951 111,394 20 16.2 Candidates Candidates
1949 22,661 7 5.2 Candidates Candidates

Note that the candidates in this table are in Hebrew

Peretz Bernstein, Yosef Sapir, Israel Rokeach


In late 1952, the General Zionists joined the coalition and four of its members (Israel Rokeach, Yosef Sapir, Yosef Serlin, and Peretz Bernstein) served as Ministers in the fourth and fifth governments of Israel. After these Ministers abstained in a vote of no-confidence in the government following the Kastner trial, a new government was formed without them. They did not return to serve in the government as representatives of the General Zionists.