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Seventeenth government of Israel

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politics and government of

The seventeenth government of Israel (Hebrew: מֶמְשֶׁלֶת יִשְׂרָאֵל הַשְׁבַע עֶשְׂרֵה, translit. Memshelet Yisra'el HaShva esre) was formed by Yitzhak Rabin on 3 June 1974, following the resignation of Prime Minister Golda Meir on 11 April and Rabin's election as Labor Party leader on 26 April. It was the first time an Israeli government had been led by a native-born Israeli (although Rabin was born in the British Mandate for Palestine prior to independence).[1]

As well as the 54-seat Alignment (of which the Labor Party was the largest faction, alongside Mapam and the two Labor-affiliated Israeli Arab parties, Progress and Development and the Arab List for Bedouin and Villagers, which merged into the United Arab List towards the end of the Knesset term), Rabin also included the Independent Liberals, who held four seats, and Ratz, which had three. The coalition had only a one-seat majority, with just 61 of the 120 seats in the Knesset, and was the first in Israeli political history to not contain a religious party. This status lasted until 30 October when the National Religious Party (NRP) joined the coalition, taking the number of seats up to 71, although Ratz left on 6 November,[2] reducing the number by three. In forming the government, Rabin dropped the development portfolio.[3][4]

The government was dissolved by Rabin on 22 December 1976, following the abstention of the NRP on a vote of no confidence regarding an apparent breach of the Sabbath during a ceremony at an Israeli Air Force base,[2] but continued, without the NRP members, who all resigned on 22 December, as a caretaker government until the formation of the eighteenth government following the May 1977 elections. However, following the Dollar Account affair in March 1977, Rabin announced on 6 April that he was resigning as head of the Labor Party, and Minister of Defense Shimon Peres was unanimously elected to succeed him. As Israeli law prohibited resignation from a caretaker government, Rabin suspended himself from his duties as Prime Minister and Peres took his place as an unofficial acting Prime Minister.[5]

Cabinet members

Position Person Party
Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin Alignment
Deputy Prime Minister Yigal Allon Alignment
Minister of Agriculture Aharon Uzan Not an MK 1
Minister of Communications Yitzhak Rabin (until 20 March 1975) Alignment
Aharon Uzan (from 20 March 1975) Not an MK 1
Minister of Defense Shimon Peres Alignment
Minister of Education and Culture Aharon Yadlin Alignment
Minister of Finance Yehoshua Rabinowitz 2 Not an MK
Minister of Foreign Affairs Yigal Allon Alignment
Minister of Health Victor Shem-Tov Not an MK 1
Minister of Housing Avraham Ofer (until 3 January 1977)3 Alignment
Shlomo Rosen (from 16 January 1977) Not an MK 1
Minister of Immigrant Absorption Shlomo Rosen Not an MK 1
Minister of Information Aharon Yariv Alignment
Minister of Internal Affairs Shlomo Hillel (until 29 October 1974) Alignment
Yosef Burg (29 October 1974 - 22 December 1976) National Religious Party
Shlomo Hillel (from 16 January 1977) Alignment
Minister of Justice Haim Yosef Zadok Alignment
Minister of Labour Moshe Baram Alignment
Minister of Police Shlomo Hillel Alignment
Minister of Religions Haim Yosef Zadok (until 29 October 1974) Alignment
Yitzhak Rafael (30 October 1974 - 22 December 1976) National Religious Party
Haim Yosef Zadok (from 16 January 1977) Alignment
Minister of Tourism Moshe Kol Not an MK 4
Minister of Trade and Industry Haim Bar-Lev Not an MK 2
Minister of Transportation Gad Yaacobi Alignment
Minister of Welfare Victor Shem-Tov (until 29 October 1974) Not an MK 1
Michael Hasani (30 October 1974 - 2 July 1975)5 National Religious Party
Yitzhak Rabin (7 July 1975 - 29 July 1975) Alignment
Yosef Burg (29 July 1975 - 4 November 1975) National Religious Party
Zevulun Hammer (4 November 1975 - 22 December 1976) National Religious Party
Moshe Baram (from 16 January 1977) Alignment
Minister without Portfolio Shulamit Aloni (until 6 November 1974) Ratz
Yisrael Galili Alignment
Gideon Hausner Not an MK 4
Deputy Minister of Agriculture Jabr Muadi (from 24 March 1975) Alignment,
Progress and Development,
United Arab List
Deputy Minister of Communications Jabr Muadi (until 24 March 1975) Alignment
Eliyahu Moyal (from 24 March 1975) Alignment

1 Although Rosen, Shem-Tov and Uzan were not members of the Knesset at the time, they had previously been MKs for the Alignment.

2 Although Bar-Lev and Rabinovitz were not MKs at the time, they were later elected to the Knesset on the Alignment list.

3 Ofer committed suicide following the Yadlin affair.

4 Kol and Hausner had been elected to the Knesset on the Independent Liberals list, but resigned their seats after being appointed to the cabinet.

5 Hasani died in office.


  1. ^ 1974 timeline Jewish Agency for Israel
  2. ^ a b  
  3. ^ Eighth Knesset: Government 16 Knesset website
  4. ^ Eighth Knesset: Government 17 Knesset website
  5. ^ Israeli Government- Legal Situation Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 6 November 1995

External links

  • Eighth Knesset: Government 17 Knesset website
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