Assembly of Representatives (Mandatory Palestine)

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Yitzhak Ben-Zvi at Asefat Hanivharim, September 1944

The Assembly of Representatives (Hebrew: אספת הנבחרים‎, Asefat HaNivharim) was the elected parliamentary assembly of the Jewish community in British controlled Palestine. It was established on 19 April 1920,[1] and functioned until 13 February 1949, the day before the first Knesset, elected on 25 January, was sworn in.

History[edit]

Under the British Mandate, the Yishuv, or Jewish community, established a network of political and administrative institutions, among them the Assembly of Representatives.[2] To ensure that small groups were properly represented, a system of proportional representation was introduced. The largest faction, Ahdut HaAvoda, won only 70 of the Assembly's 314 seats. As a result, coalitions were formed to elect the executive body – the National Council (Va’ad Leumi), which was responsible for education, local government, welfare, security and defense.[3]

The Assembly was elected on four occasions, each with a different number of members (bold face and * indicate groups in multiple Assemblies). In 1944, some groups, especially the Sephardic Jews, boycotted the elections and were not represented.[4]

First Assembly
Elected on 19 April 1920
314 members
Second Assembly
Elected on 6 December 1925
221 members (201 listed)
Third Assembly
Elected on 5 January 1931
71 members
Fourth Assembly
1 August 1944 – 13 February 1949
171 members (177 listed)

70*Ahdut HaAvoda
54 Histadrut HaSephardim
53 Haredi Party
41*Hapoel Hatzair
16 Hitahdut HaIkarim
13 Advanced Party
12*Yemenite Association
9 Mizrachi
7 Unnamed Group
7 Independents
6*Craftsmen's Centre
5 Women's Union
5 Bukharan Group
5 Clerk's Union
4 Youth of Israel Union
3 Citizen's Union
2 Mizrahi Youth Union
1 Adat HaGorjim
1*Maccabi Union

54*Ahdut HaAvoda
30*Hapoel Hatzair
19 HaSephardim
15*Revisionists
13*Hebrew Women's Association
9 Agricultural Bloc
9 Democrat's Association
7 Mizrachi
6 Centre List
6 National Citizens
6 Ma'amad Hapoalim
6*Hapoel HaMizrachi
4 Hapoel HaMizrachi HaMeuhad
4 Polish Immigrants List
2 Valley Kibbutzim List
2 Safed Municipality List
1 Agricultural Centre List
1 Galilee Farmers Association
1 Eastern Farmers Association
1 Georgian Jews List
1 Hebrew Women's Popular list
1 Givat HaRambam list
1 Young Mizrahi List
1*Craftsmen's Centre
1 Bnei Brak Residents' List

27*Mapai
11*Revisionists
6 Sephardim Association
5 Mizrachi-Hapoel HaMizrachi
5 Jabotinsky Supporters
4 United General Zionists
4 Sephardi Employees Group
3*Hebrew Women's Association
3*Yemenite Group List
1 Poale Zion
1 Borochov Workers List
1 Hashomer Hatzair

63*Mapai
21 Left Front
18 New Aliyah Party
17*Hapoel HaMizrachi
16 Ahdut HaAvoda Movement
8 Mizrachi
5*Maccabi Union
4 Democratic Centre
4 WIZO-Women for Equal Rights
4 HaOved HaTzioni
4 Independent Yemenite Association
3 Popular Democratic List
3 Religious Independents
2 Hebrew Merchants
2 Yemenite Association
1 Women for Torah and Work
1 Independent Mizrahi Women
1 People's Movement for a Hebrew State

References[edit]

  1. ^ Palestine Through History: A Chronology (I) The Palestine Chronicle
  2. ^ Itamar Rabinovich & Jehuda Reinharz (2008) Israel in the Middle East Brandeis University Press, p84
  3. ^ The origins and challenges of Israeli democracy Haaretz, 3 October 2014
  4. ^ Simple ceremony marks opening session of newly elected Palestine Jewish Assembly Jewish Telegraph Agency, 13 September 1944