Israeli legislative election, 1949

Israeli legislative election, 1949

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Elections for the Constituent Assembly were held in newly independent Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 on 25 January 1949. Voter turnout was 86.9%. Two days after its first meeting on 14 February 1949, legislators voted to change the name of the body to the Knesset
The Knesset is the unicameral legislature of Israel, located in Givat Ram, Jerusalem.-Role in Israeli Government :The legislative branch of the Israeli government, the Knesset passes all laws, elects the President and Prime Minister , approves the cabinet, and supervises the work of the government...

 (Hebrew: כנסת, translated as Assembly). It is known today as the First Knesset.


Party Votes % Seats
Mapai was a left-wing political party in Israel, and was the dominant force in Israeli politics until its merger into the Israeli Labor Party in 1968...

155,274 35.7 46
Mapam was a political party in Israel and is one of the ancestors of the modern-day Meretz party.-History:Mapam was formed by a January 1948 merger of the Hashomer Hatzair Workers Party and Ahdut HaAvoda Poale Zion Movement. The party was originally Marxist-Zionist in its outlook and represented...

64,018 14.7 19
United Religious Front
United Religious Front
The United Religious Front was a political alliance of the four major religious parties in Israel, as well as the Union of Religious Independents, formed to fight the 1949 elections.-History:...

52,982 12.2 16
Herut was the major right-wing political party in Israel from the 1940s until its formal merger into Likud in 1988, and an adherent of Revisionist Zionism.-History:...

49,782 11.5 14
General Zionists
General Zionists
The General Zionists were centrists within the Zionist movement and a political party in Israel. Their political arm is an ancestor of the modern-day Likud.-History:...

22,661 5.2 7
Progressive Party
Progressive Party (Israel)
The Progressive Party was a political party in Israel.-History:The Progressive Party was a liberal party, most of whose founders came from the ranks of the New Aliyah Party and HaOved HaTzioni, which had been active prior to independence...

17,786 4.1 5
Sephardim and Oriental Communities
Sephardim and Oriental Communities
Sephardim and Oriental Communities was a political party in Israel and is one of the ancestors of the modern-day Likud party.-History:The Sephardim and Oriental Communities party represented Sephardi Jews and Mizrahi Jews who were already living in Israel at the time of independence, and was part...

15,287 3.5 4
Maki (historical political party)
Maki was a communist political party in Israel. It is not the same party as the modern day Maki, which split from it during the 1960s and later assumed its name.-History:...

15,148 3.5 4
Democratic List of Nazareth
Democratic List of Nazareth
The Democratic List of Nazareth was a political party in Israel and the only Israeli Arab party to win seats in the first Knesset. The party, which was sponsored by David Ben-Gurion's Mapai, was so named as it was based in Nazareth, the largest Arab city in Israel.-History:In the 1949 elections,...

7,387 1.7 2
Fighters' List
Fighters' List
The Fighters' List was a political party in Israel.-History:The Fighters' List grew out of Lehi, a militant Revisionist paramilitary organisation that operated in Palestine during the Mandate era, and in Israel until shortly after independence. Lehi was a controversial group, described by the...

5,363 1.2 1
Women's International Zionist Organization
The Women's International Zionist Organization , is a volunteer organization dedicated to social welfare in all sectors of Israeli society, the advancement of the status of women, and Jewish education in Israel and the Diaspora.-History:...

5,173 1.2 1
Yemenite Association
Yemenite Association
The Yemenite Association was a political party in Israel.-History:The party was founded by Yemenite Jews in 1923. It took part in Israel's first elections in 1949, crossing the electoral threshold by just 53 votes, and winning one seat, which was taken by Zecharia Glosca.Despite the influx of...

4,399 1.0 1
Workers Bloc 3,214 0.7 0
Brit HaTzohar
Hatzohar , officially Brit HaTzionim HaRevizionistim was a Revisionist Zionist organisation and political party in Mandate Palestine and newly-independent Israel.-Background:...

2,892 0.7 0
Ultra-orthodox List 2,835 0.7 0
Popular Arab Bloc
Popular Arab Bloc
The Popular Arab Bloc was an electoral list that contested the 1949 Israeli Constituent Assembly election. The list was launched by Mapam, just three weeks before the election, in order to mobilize Israeli Arab votes. As Mapam did not allow Arabs to be members of the party, it preferred to set up...

2,812 0.6 0
Working and Religious Women
Tova Sanhadray
Tova Sanhedrai was an Israeli politician who served as a member of the Knesset for the National Religious Party between 1959 and 1974.-Biography:...

2,796 0.6 0
Yitzhak Gruenbaum
Yitzhak Gruenbaum
Yitzhak Gruenbaum was a noted leader of the Zionist movement among Polish Jewry between the two world wars and of the Yishuv in Mandatory Palestine, and the first Interior Minister of Israel.-Education and journalistic career:Gruenbaum was born in Warsaw, Poland...

2,514 0.6 0
United List of Religious Workers 1,280 0.3 0
For Jerusalem 842 0.2 0
Traditional Judaism List 239 0.1 0
Invalid/blank votes 5,411
Total 440,095 100 120
Source: Nohlen et al.

¹ Eliezer Preminger
Eliezer Preminger
Eliezer Preminger was an Israeli politician who served as a member of the Knesset for Maki, the Hebrew Communists and Mapam between 1949 and 1951.-Biography:...

 left Maki and re-established the Hebrew Communists
Hebrew Communists
The Hebrew Communists were a short-lived political party in Mandate Palestine and Israel. The Hebrew Communists were originally founded in 1945 by some former members of the Palestine Communist Party , which had split in 1943...

 before joining Mapam

² Ari Jabotinsky
Ari Jabotinsky
Eri Jabotinsky was a Revisionist Zionist activist, Israeli politician and academic. He was the son of Ze'ev Jabotinsky, the founder of the opposition movement within Zionism at the time, and later served in the Knesset between 1949 and 1951, as a member of the opposition Herut party of Menachem...

 and Hillel Kook
Hillel Kook
Hillel Kook , also known as Peter Bergson , was a Revisionist Zionist activist, politician, and prominent member of the Irgun.-Early life:...

, both associated with the Bergson Group in the United States, broke away from Herut; they were not recognised as a separate party by the speaker.

First government

The first government was formed by David Ben-Gurion
David Ben-Gurion
' was the first Prime Minister of Israel.Ben-Gurion's passion for Zionism, which began early in life, led him to become a major Zionist leader and Executive Head of the World Zionist Organization in 1946...

, on 8 March, 1949. His Mapai party formed a coalition with the United Religious Front, the Progressive Party, the Sephardim and Oriental Communities and the Democratic List of Nazareth, and there were 12 ministers. Yosef Sprinzak
Yosef Sprinzak
Yosef Sprinzak was a leading Zionist activist in the first half of the 20th century, an Israeli politician, and the first Speaker of the Knesset, a role he held from 1949 until his death in 1959....

 of Mapai was appointed as the speaker.

The trend of political instability in Israel was started when Ben-Gurion resigned on 15 October, 1950 over disagreements with the United Religious Front on education in the new immigrant camps and the religious education system, as well as demands that the Supply and Rationing Ministry be closed and a businessman appointed as Minister for Trade and Industry.

Second government

Ben-Gurion formed a second government on 1 November, 1950 with the same coalition partners as previously, though there was a slight reshuffle in his cabinet; David Remez
David Remez
David Remez was an Israeli politician, the country's first Minister of Transportation, and a signatory of the Israeli declaration of independence.-Biography:...

 moved from the Transportation ministry to Education, replacing Zalman Shazar
Zalman Shazar
Zalman Shazar was an Israeli politician, author. and poet. Shazar served as the third President of Israel from 1963 to 1973.-Biography:...

 (who was left out of the new cabinet), whilst Dov Yosef
Dov Yosef
Dov Yosef was an Israeli politician and statesman. Yosef served in a variety of ministerial positions during the first two Knessets and was the country's second Minister of Justice, serving twice .-Background:...

 replaced Remez as Minister of Transportation. Ya'akov Geri
Ya'akov Geri
Ya'akov Geri was a South Africa-born Israeli lawyer who served as Minister of Trade and Industry between November 1950 and October 1951, although he was never as a Knesset member.-External links:...

 was appointed Minister of Trade and Industry despite not being a Member of the Knesset. There was also a new Deputy Minister in the Transportation ministry.

The door was opened for the elections for the second knesset
Israeli legislative election, 1951
Elections for the second Knesset were held in Israel on 30 July 1951. Voter turnout was 75.1%.-Results:¹ Rostam Bastuni, Avraham Berman and Moshe Sneh left Mapam and set up the Left Faction. Bastuni later returned to Mapam whilst Berman and Sneh joined Maki. Hannah Lamdan and David Livschitz left...

when the government resigned on 14 February, 1951 after the Knesset had rejected the Minister of Education and Culture's proposals on the registration of schoolchildren.

External links