Founded in 1992

Meretz was founded in 1992, the period before the elections for the 13th Knesset, when it was formed as a joint list of the parties Mapam, Ratz and Shinui. The leader of Ratz at the time, Shulamit Aloni, headed the new list, and was replaced by Yossi Sarid in 1996. The three parties continued to exist as separate units within Meretz, until they merged completely and formed the Meretz party in 1997.


In the 2003 elections for the 16th Knesset, Meretz ran together with two other movements: "Shahar," headed by Yossi Beilin, and "the Democratic Choice," headed by Roman Bronfman. After the joint list received only six seats in the elections, it was decided to form a new entity by the name of Yachad (an acronym for the Hebrew "Social Democratic Israel") that would unite all of the left-wing movements. This move was intended to counteract the significant blow to the power of the left following the failure of the Camp David summit and the outbreak of the Al-Aqsa Intifada. Yossi Beilin won the competition for leadership of Yachad. It soon became apparent that Yachad was a weak political brand in comparison to Meretz. As a result, the party readopted Meretz as its name prior to the elections for the 17th Knesset in 2006. Meretz continued its electoral decline in the next two elections, and was not helped by the choice of Chaim Oron as its new leader. The party reached a low of three seats in the 2009 elections. Meretz recovered and succeeded in doubling its representation in the Knesset following the 2013 elections.


Meretz is on the Zionist left of the Israeli political map and traditionally supports social equality, granting Israeli Arabs equal rights, and the two-state solution. It advocates working toward peace by giving up the occupied territories and putting an end to the settlement enterprise. Meretz also supports the separation of religion and state and opposes religious coercion. The party defines itself as a social-democratic party and supports the preservation, and even the expansion, of the welfare state.


Election Year Votes Count Seats Count Votes Percent List Of Candidates Platform
2015 20 5 3.9 Candidates Candidates Platform Platform
2013 19 6 4.6 Candidates Candidates Platform Platform
2009 18 3 3.0 Candidates Candidates Platform Platform
2006 17 5 3.8 Candidates Candidates Platform Platform
2003 16 6 5.2 Candidates Candidates
1999 15 10 7.7 Candidates Candidates Platform Platform
1996 14 9 7.4 Candidates Candidates Platform Platform
1992 13 12 9.6 Candidates Candidates Platform Platform

Note that the lists of candidates and platforms below are in Hebrew.

Shulamit Aloni, Amnon Rubinstein, Yair Tzaban, Yossi Sarid, Ran Cohen, Yossi Beilin, Chaim Oron, Zahava Gal-On.

Since its establishment, Meretz has been a member of three governments. After the victory of the left-wing bloc in the 1992 elections, Meretz joined the coalition headed by the Labor Party, and three of its members served as ministers in Yitzhak Rabin's government: Amnon Rubinstein, Shulamit Aloni, and Yair Tzaban. Later on, Yossi Sarid also became a member of the government. After the Rabin assassination, the government ministers from Meretz continued to serve in the government of Shimon Peres until the 1996 elections, after which the party moved to the opposition. After Ehud Barak's victory in the 1999 elections, Meretz joined Barak's government. Yossi Sarid served as a minister in that government, as did Chaim Oron and Ran Cohen. Meretz did not last long in the government, and left the coalition due to differences of opinion with Shas. Since 2000, Meretz has not been a member of the coalition..