A moderate, left-of-center Labor Zionist party, Mapam has had representatives in the Knesset since the inception of the state; it won three seats in the November 1988 Knesset elections. Opposition to the formation of the unity government in September 1984 led Mapam to withdraw from its fifteen-year-long electoral alignment with Labor. The 1988 Knesset elections represented the first time in twenty years that Mapam had contested an election independently. Mapam's top leaders included the party's secretary general, Elazar Granot, and Knesset member Yair Tzaban.
Mapam has advocated a strong national security and defense posture, with many of its members playing leading roles in the IDF. At the same time, it has urged continuing peace initiatives and territorial compromise, and has opposed the permanent annexation of the territories occupied in the June 1967 War beyond minimal border changes designed to provide Israel with secure and defensible boundaries. Mapam has long believed in Jewish-Arab coexistence and friendship as a means of hastening peace between Israel, the Palestinians, and the Arab states.
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