Founded in 1973
Ratz (HaTnua'a LeZkhuyot HaEzrah VeLeShalom—the Movement for Civil Rights and Peace) was founded in 1973, towards the elections for the Eighth Knesset, by MK Shulamit Aloni (Alignment), who had fallen out with Prime Minister Golda Meir and did not receive a realistic place on the list of candidates for the elections. Ratz won three seats in the elections.
At the outset, the party focused on civil issues, particularly civil rights and religion and state. As a self-declared secular party, it protested the Labor Party's collaboration with the religious parties, which Ratz believed had resulted in the infringement of various civil rights. In its platform, Ratz demanded the enactment of Basic Law: Civil Rights, the repeal of the Defense (Emergency) Regulations, and the enactment of legislation to ensure the public’s right to receive information. It also strove for equality for women and the Arab minority.
With time, the party added a strong dovish position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to its agenda. The party then stood to the left of the Labor Party, demanding complete withdrawal from the territories, calling for a dialogue with the PLO, and supporting the establishment of a Palestinian state. In 1992, prior to the elections for the 13th Knesset, Ratz ran together with Mapam and Shinui in a single list, which took on the name Meretz. Ratz continued to exist independently until 1997, when Meretz turned into a party.