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Meretz (vitality) מרצ was an Israeli political party, considered to be on the "left" and secular. It was formed in 1992 by the merger of three other parties, RATZ (רץ, Movement for Civil Rights) and Peace), Mapam (מפ"ם, Israeli Workers Party) and Shinui (Change). In 1996 they officially registered as a single party, but in 1997 part of Shinui (under the leadership of Avraham Poraz) left to form a separate movement.

In December 2003, Meretz was disbanded in order to merge with Yossi Beilin's SHAHAR שח"ר movement and Roman Bronfman's "The Democratic Choice" party. The new party will be called "Yahad" יח"ד;, which literally means Together, but is also an abbreviation of "Democrat Social Israel" in Hebrew. The orginal name was "Yaad", which mean "goal" in Hebrew, but was replaced because the meaning of Yaad in Russian is poision. Meretz's Ran Cohen and Shahar's Yossi Beilin will run head-to-head for the leadership of the new party.

Meretz positions are left-wing in both social-economical and political views: Meretz supports the foundation of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip. It demands the total evacuation of Israeli settlements, and the retreat of the Israeli army from all occupied territories. It is associated with the non-parlaimental movement "Peace Now". Furthermore, Meretz supports moderate interference of the state in internal-economy and the full liberation of civil-rights from religion.

Meretz defines itself as a Zionist party, although it taken more radical positions during the Al-Aqsa Intifada. Meretz has 2 main factions within it:

  1. The "Securitist Zionists" (Bithonistim) led by Yossi Sarid, Ran Cohen and Avshalom Vilan;
  2. The radicals led by Ze'ava Galon, Beilin and Shulamit Aloni.
The two factions differs mainly on their approch toward Israeli military operation in the territories, while the Securitist faction accepts them as a legitimate counter-terror operations, the radical stream denounce them as "illegal and immoral" attacks. Although Meretz officially denounces the refusal to serve on political grounds, the radical faction supports the refsuniks and justify their actions.

Meretz currently has 6 seats in the (16th elected) Israeli Parliament, and had seats number in previous Parliaments as listed:

1992 - 12 seats, 1996 - 9 seats, 1999 - 10 seats, 2003 - 6 seats.

Current Knesset members (16th elected):

Yossi Sarid - Haim Oron - Ran Cohen - Avshalom Vilan - Zehava Galon - Roman Bronfman.

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