Kibbutz Movement in Israel Splits; Mapai Delegates Walk out of Mapam-Dominated Parley

The kibbutz movement in Israel split into two separate factions–Mapai and Mapam–last night at a meeting of the United Kibbutz Council, at Naan, near Rehovoth.

The split followed the action of the Mapam majority in expelling Mapai members of two kibbutzim who refused to carry out decisions of the Council. The Mapai delegates to the Naan meeting, who had earlier and unsuccessfully offered a resolution recognizing the existence of two political ideologies within the kibbutz movement, left the meeting asserting that they considered themselves "expelled." The Mapai delegates immediately went into separate session at another spot in the village of Naan.

The battle lines were drawn last year at Kibbutz Ashdot Yaacov and Givat Hashlosha, both Mapai settlements, which feared that the acceptance of new Mapam-affiliated members would change the political complexion of the community. At the former, the settlement refused to accept Mapam youths and set up separate living quarters for Mapai and Mapam youth, while at the latter the community council decided to split into two kibbutzim rather than accept left-wing Socialist leadership. It was the expulsion of members from these settlements that brought the split.

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