NEW YORK (Aug. 2)
Leading newspapers here, in editorials today commenting on the results of the general election in Israel, emphasize that judging from the election returns Israel’s ties to the West are firmer than ever. The New York Times says that the election demonstrated that Israel “is a genuine outpost of democracy in the Middle East.” The New York Herald Tribune points out that the Mapam Party and the Communists “are likely to play a lessening role” in the new Israeli Parliament.
“The system of proportional representation, employed in Israel,” the Times unites, “seems to lead inevitably to a multitude of splinter parties and to the consequent necessity of coalition government with all the instability that that implies. Perhaps when the Israelis get around to writing their Constitution–which they hare not yet done–they will come to the conclusion that a two or even a three-party System nay, with all its faults, load to a stronger and therefore more desirable type of government than the theoretically more responsive but practically less stable form of democracy that they now enjoy.”
Editorials in the Jewish press also emphasize the democratic spirit displayed by the manner in which the elections were conducted. The Jewish Daily Forward says: “The citizens of Israel can congratulate themselves on the truly democratic spirit in
which the elections were carried out. The democratic world is highly satisfied with both the system of the elections as well as with their results.” The paper calls the election results a great victory for the Mapai and a defeat for the Mapam.
The Day editorial points out that “the triumph of democracy in Israel has again shown the world that the Jewish state is the only bastion of democracy in the Near East.” It says that the results of the elections did not surprise anybody, since it was expected that the Mapai would emerge victorious. The Jewish Communist newspaper Freiheit says that the elections “have fundamentally solved nothing.” It asserts that the Mapam suffered “a substantial defeat” because “it refused to merge with the Communists in a single list of candidates.”