Shulamit Aloni

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Shulamit Aloni
File:Shulamit Aloni portrait.jpg
Date of birth (1928-12-27)27 December 1928
Place of birth Tel Aviv, Mandatory Palestine
Date of death Script error: The function "death_date_and_age" does not exist.
Place of death Kfar Shmaryahu, Israel
Knessets 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13
Faction represented in Knesset
1965–1967 Labor Alignment
1967–1968 Labor Party
1968–1969 Alignment
1974–1975 Ratz
1975–1976 Ya'ad – Civil Rights Movement
1976–1981 Ratz
1981–1984 Alignment
1984–1992 Ratz
1992–1996 Meretz
Ministerial roles
1974 Minister without Portfolio
1992–1993 Minister of Education and Culture
1993 Minister without Portfolio
1993–1996 Minister of Communications
1993–1996 Minister of Science and the Arts
File:Shulamit Aloni with her mother.jpg
Shulamit Aloni as a young woman with her mother.

Shulamit Aloni (Hebrew: <templatestyles src="Script/styles_hebrew.css" />שׁוּלַמִּית אַלּוֹנִי‎; 27 December 1928 – 24 January 2014) was an Israeli politician. She founded the Ratz party, was leader of the Meretz party and served as Minister of Education from 1992 to 1993. In 2000, she won the Israel Prize.


Shulamit Adler was born in Tel Aviv. Her mother was a seamstress and her father was a carpenter, both descended from Polish 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 socialist Zionist Hashomer Hatzair youth movement and the Palmach. During the 1948 Arab–Israeli War she was involved in military struggles for the Old City of Jerusalem and was captured by Jordanian forces.[1] Following the establishment of the state of Israel, she worked with child refugees and helped establish a school for immigrant children. She taught school while studying law.[citation needed]

In 1952 she married Reuven Aloni (founder of Israel Lands Administration), moved to Kfar Shmaryahu, and they had three sons:

Aloni joined Mapai in 1959. She also worked as an attorney and hosted a radio show Outside Working Hours that dealt with human rights and women's rights. She also wrote columns for several newspapers.[citation needed]

She contributed the piece "Up the down escalator" to the 1984 anthology Sisterhood Is Global: The International Women's Movement Anthology, edited by Robin Morgan.[2]

Last years

Reuven Aloni died in 1988. Shulamit Aloni died at age 85, on 24 January 2014.[3][4]

Political career

In 1965 Aloni was elected to the Knesset on the list of the Alignment, an alliance 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 the Citizens Rights Movement, which became known as Ratz. The party advocated electoral reform, separation of religion and state and human rights and won three seats in the 1973 Knesset elections. Ratz initially joined the Alignment-led government with Aloni as Minister without Portfolio but she resigned immediately in protest at the appointment of Yitzhak Rafael as Minister of Religions. Ratz briefly became Ya'ad – Civil Rights Movement when independent MK Aryeh Eliav joined the party, but returned to its original status soon after.[citation needed]

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 the run-up to the 1984 elections, Ratz aligned with Peace Now and the Left Camp of Israel to increase its size in the Knesset to five seats. In 1992, she led Ratz into an alliance 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. As Education Minister, she also criticized organized tours by Israeli high school pupils to Holocaust concentration camps on grounds that such visits were turning Israeli youth into aggressive, nationalistic xenophobes, claiming that students "march with unfurled flags, as if they've come to conquer Poland".[5] She was reappointed Minister of Communications and Science and Culture and served until 1996 when she retired from party politics.

Political activism

Aloni was a board member of Yesh Din, an organisation focusing on human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories. She defended U.S. President Jimmy Carter's use of the word "apartheid" in the title of his book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid.[6] Later, Aloni said, "I hate to cover up things that should be open to the sun."

Views and opinions

In a 2002 interview with American journalist Amy Goodman, Aloni said that charges of antisemitism are "a trick we use" to suppress criticism of Israel coming from within the United States, for criticism coming from Europe "we bring up the Holocaust."[7]

Awards and recognition

File:The Grave oF Shulamit Aloni.jpeg
The Grave of Shulamit Aloni

Published work

  • Democracy in Shackles (Demokratia be'azikim), Am Oved (Hebrew)[11]

See also


  1. Shulamit Aloni Jewish Virtual Library; accessed January 25, 2014.
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  7. Aloni on the use of charges of anti-semitism to suppress criticism of Israel,; 14 August 2002; accessed 25 January 2014.
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External links