Ben Gurion Rejects Mapam Conditions for Participation in Coalition Government

"So far our road has been independent of outside influences and will remain so, therefore no conditions or guarantees concerning the formation of a coalition government are acceptable to the Mapai, "Premier David Ben Gurion last night declared at a Labor Party conference here. The statement was interpreted as a reply to conditions demanded by the left-wing Mapam for participation in a coalition government.

The Mapam central committee demanded a written guarantee of a minimum foreign and domestic program from a Mapai-led coalition government. The foreign policy demands were: 1. Complete political and economic independence of any international bloc; 2. Opposition to reduction in the size of the Jewish state; 3. Opposition to the granting of bases in Israel to foreign powers; and 4. Opposition to accepting any aid under the Marshall Plan.

The internal policy demanded by the Mapam was: 1. Exploitation of the country’s natural resources; 2. Termination of all foreign monopolistic concessions; 3. Placing the chief taxation burden on property owners; 5. Concentration of foreign trade in the hands of the state; 5. Imposition of price control; 6. Reduction of the profits of manufacturers; and, 7. Guarantee of the right to strike and rejection of all proposals for compulsory labor arbitration.

Ben Gurion also attacked the right-wing Irgun-sponsored Heruth, in his speech to the parley which was called in preparation for the Feb. 15 elections in the Hisdadrut. He criticized "those who would impose a rule of capital. The Premier also called for the cultivation of large waste areas in Israel and stated that the present generation is in a position to realize the national dream–the gathering in of the exiles and the creation in the Jewish state of conditions for the fulfillment of both Zionism and socialism. However, this fulfillment is impossible without the participation of the Jews of the rest of the world, he declared.

Foreign Minister Moshe Shertok, who attacked the Mapam for what he called its attempts to split the labor movement, expressed the belief that the next period in the history of Israel will be devoted to the pursuit of peace, although he refused to rule out the possibility of a resumption of fighting. He called for the establishment of pioneer reserves among the Jews of U.S., Latin America and other countries.

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