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Shulamit Aloni
Date of birth 29 November 1928 (1928-11-29) (age 81)
Place of birth Kfar Shmaryahu, Israel
Knessets 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13
Party Meretz (1992-1996)
Former parties Labor Alignment (1965-1967)
Labor Party (1967-1968)
Alignment (1968-1969, 1981-1984)
Ratz (1974-1975, 1976-1981, 1984-1992)
Ya'ad – Civil Rights Movement (1975-1976)
Ministerial posts
(current in bold)
Minister without Portfolio
Minister of Education and Culture
Minister of Communications
Minister of Science and Technology
Minister of Science and the Arts

Shulamit Aloni (Hebrew: שולמית אלוני‎, born 29 November 1928) is an Israeli politician and left-wing activist. She is a prominent member of the Israeli peace camp, founded the Ratz party and was leader of the Meretz party and served as Minister of Education from 1992 to 1993.



Born Shulamit Adler in Kfar Shmaryahu, her mother was a seamstress and her father was a carpenter, both descended from Polish Jewish rabbinical families. She was sent to boarding school during World War II while her parents served in the British Army. As a youth she was a member of the Hashomer Hatzair socialist Zionist youth movement and the Palmach. During the 1948 Israeli War of Independence she was involved in military struggles for the Old City of Jerusalem and was captured by Jordanian forces.

Following the establishment of the state of Israel, Aloni worked with child refugees and helped establish a school for immigrant children. She was a teacher while studying law. In 1952 she married Reuven Aloni and moved to Kfar Shmaryahu.

Aloni joined Mapai in 1959. She also worked as a lawyer and hosted a radio show Outside Working Hours that dealt with human rights and women's rights. Aloni also worked as a columnist for several newspapers.

In 1965 she was first elected to the Knesset on the list of the Alignment (a merger of Mapai and Ahdut HaAvoda), and subsequently founded the Israel Consumers Council, which she chaired for four years.

She left the Alignment in 1973 and established Ratz (Citizens Rights Movement), a party advocating electoral reform, separation of religion and state and human rights. The party won three Knesset mandates in the 1973 elections. Ratz initially joined the Alignment-led government with Aloni as minister without portfolio but she resigned immediately to protest the appointment to cabinet of Yitzhak Rafael. Ratz briefly became Ya'ad – Civil Rights Movement when independent MK Aryeh Eliav joined the faction, but returned to its original status soon after.

Throughout the 1970s Aloni attempted to create a dialogue with Palestinians in hopes of achieving a lasting peace settlement. During the 1982 Lebanon War she established the "International Center for Peace in the Middle East". In 1984, Ratz aligned with Peace Now and the Left Camp of Israel to increase its size in the Knesset to five mandates. In 1992, she led Ratz into a coalition with Shinui and Mapam to form the new Meretz party, which won 12 seats under her leadership in the elections that year. Aloni became Minister of Education under Yitzhak Rabin but was forced to resign after a year due to her outspoken statements on matters of religion. She was reappointed Minister of Communications and Science and Culture and served until 1996 when she retired from party politics.

Political activism

Aloni is on the board of the Yesh Din organization, which was established in March 2005, and it is "comprised of volunteers who have organized to oppose the continuing violation of Palestinian human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory".[1]

Aloni defended U.S. President Jimmy Carter's use of the word "apartheid" in the title of his book, Palestine Peace Not Apartheid. [2] Later, Aloni said, "I hate to cover up things that should be open to the Sun."


In 1998, Aloni was awarded the Emil Grunzweig Human Rights Award by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel.

In 2000, she received the Israel Prize, for her lifetime achievements and special contribution to society and the State of Israel. [3][4]

Published work

  • Democracy in Shackles (Demokratia be'azikim), Am Oved (Hebrew)[5]


External links

See also



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