Mizrachi (political party)

Mizrachi (Political Party)

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Mizrachi (political party)

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Mizrachi (, HaMizrahi, an acronym for Merkaz Ruhani (), lit. Religious Centre) was a political party in Israel and is one of the ancestors of the modern-day National Religious Party.


The Mizrachi movement was founded in 1902 in Vilnius as a religious Zionist organisation. It also had a trade union, Hapoel HaMizrachi, started in 1921. In the British Mandate of Palestine the movement developed into a political party, HaMizrachi.

For the elections for the first Knesset it ran as part of a joint list called the United Religious Front alongside the Hapoel HaMizrachi, Agudat Yisrael and Poalei Agudat Yisrael. The group won 16 seats, of which the Mizrachi Party took four, making it the third largest party in the Knesset after Mapai and Mapam. It was invited to join the coalition government by David Ben-Gurion.

The United Religious Front played a major part in bringing down the first government due to it disagreement with Mapai over issues pertaining to education in the new immigrant camps and the religious education system, as well as its demands that the Supply and Rationing Ministry be closed and a businessman appointed as Minister for Trade and Industry. Ben-Gurion resigned on 15 October, 1950. When the problems had been solved two weeks later, he formed the second government with the same coalition partners and ministers as previously.

In the 1951 elections the party ran for the Knesset alone. However, they won only two seats. They joined the coalition that made up the...
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