A socialist-Zionist party, Mapam (United Workers' Party) was the second largest political party in the early years of the State. Mapam joined the labor alignment from 1969-1984, ran independently in 1988. In 1992, Mapam formed a common list with the Ratz and Shinui parties, which they called “Meretz.” The common denominator among the three was their advocacy of an agreement with the Palestinians on the basis of a territorial compromise, and the establishment of a Palestinian state, civil and human rights, and the separation of religion and state. Meretz joined the governing coalition with Labor under Yitzhak Rabin.
In 1997, Mapam ceased to exist officially as it merged with Ratz and a part of Shinui to recreate Meretz as a unified political party. Meretz was headed by Shulamit Aloni (1991-99) and Yossi Sarid (1999-2003). Meretz ran in the elections for the Sixteenth Knesset in a single list with the Democratic Choice and Shahar, and in the course of the Sixteenth Knesset changed its name to “Yahad and the Democratic Choice.”
Sources: The Knesset