Reshaping the Political Order in Israel, 1965–1967

in Israel Studies Review
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  • 1 Haifa University yandaweitz@walla.co.il
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abstract

This article examines the major changes in the Israeli political arena, on both the left and right, in the two years before the 1967 War. The shift was marked by the establishment in 1965 of the right-wing Gahal (the Herut-Liberal bloc) and of the Labor Alignment, the semi-merger of Israel’s two main left-wing parties, Mapai and Ahdut HaAvodah. Some dissatisfied Mapai members broke away from the Alignment and formed a new party, Rafi, under the leadership of David Ben-Gurion. They did not gain nearly enough Knesset seats to take power in the November 1965 election, but Rafi did become part of the emergency national unity government that was formed in June 1967, due largely to the weak position of Levi Eshkol as prime minister. This enabled Rafi’s Moshe Dayan to assume the minister of defense position on the eve of the Six-Day War, which began on 5 June 1967.

Contributor Notes

yechiam weitz is a Professor in the Land of Israel Department at Haifa University. His interests include Israeli political history, the history of the Revisionist movement, and the place of the Holocaust in Israeli society. He is currently writing a book about his uncle, Yechiam Weitz, who was a senior commander in the Palmach, was killed in 1946, and is remembered as a national hero. E-mail: yandaweitz@walla.co.il

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