DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT FOR CHANGE

DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT FOR CHANGE (DMC; Heb. Ha-Tenu'ah ha-Demokratit Le-Shinu'i), political party formed in 1976 prior to the elections to the Ninth Knesset. The DMC was basically a protest party against the israel labor . Its core group was made up of former chief of staff and archeology professor yigael yadin , who headed the new party, Shinu'i (a party formed by amnon rubinstein in 1974), a group of former members of the Labor Party, headed by Major General (res.) meir amit , a group of former members of the likud , headed by shemuel tamir , as well as several Sephardi and Druze personalities. The DMC participated in the elections to the Ninth Knesset on a platform that called for electoral reform to introduce a system of single-member constituencies; the passing of a Parties Law; a drastic paring of the government bureaucracy; the decentralization of the government system and the strengthening of local government; the preparation of a constitution (see governance ); the establishment of a Ministry of Welfare; the reorganization of the education system in order to enhance social integration and reduce social gaps; a new housing policy based on building apartments for rental; strengthening the rule of law; preference for production over services; a fairer distribution of the tax burden; a fight against "black money" (unreported income); preservation of the Jewish character of the State of Israel and of Jerusalem as its capital; a willingness to accept a territorial compromise in return for true peace; opposition to the establishment of an additional state west of the Jordan River; the fixing of Israel's security border along the Jordan River; and continued Israeli control over areas vital for the State's security. Most of the members of the new party were hoping to form a government with the Labor-Mapam Alignment after the elections. However, for the first time in Israel's history, the likud formed a government and commanded an absolute majority in the Knesset together with the religious parties, even without the DMC's 15 Knesset members (elected mainly at the expense of Labor); thus, despite its impressive electoral success, the DMC started its parliamentary life without real influence. The DMC joined the government formed by menahem begin several months after it was sworn in, with Yadin becoming deputy prime minister, Tamir minister of justice, and Amit minister of transportation and communications. However, none of its ministers was directly involved in either the peace negotiations with Egypt or the liberalization of the economy. Within a year and four months of the elections to the Ninth Knesset the DMC broke up into several parliamentary groups. At the time of the elections to the Tenth Knesset in 1981 five of the DMC's 15 members were members of Shinu'i – the Center Party (the only splinter of the DMC that survived); two had joined the Labor Party; one had joined the Likud; one had joined Telem; four were independent members of the Knesset; and two were single-member parliamentary factions. The dismal failure of the DMC to take root was a blow to all those who had hoped to form a strong Center Party. It was only in the elections to the Sixteenth Knesset in 2003 that the offshoot of the original Shinu'i managed to repeat the DMC's electoral success. (Susan Hattis Rolef (2nd ed.)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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