TEL AVIV (Jun. 1)
Delegates at the 12th convention of the Israel Communist Party this week-end debated behind closed doors a program proposed by Shmuel Mikunis, general secretary of the party, which called for the establishment of a “popular republic” in Israel.
In a three-hour address to the delegates Friday at a session which was open to the press, Mr. Mikunis outlined the program for a “popular republic,” called for nationalization of all foreign concessions and the formation of a popular militia. The Communist leader also attacked the Mapam for sponsoring and approving the idea of a legal status for the Jewish Agency in Israel, and declared that behind the status is “the State Department.”
Mr. Mikunis protested Israeli Government “discrimination against the Arab minority” and demanded an end to the military occupation of Arab areas of this country. He stressed the importance of the Middle East area to the Western Powers “in preparing war against the peace-loving bloc” and called on Israeli workers to “stand up against the government’s intention to sell Israel to American imperialism.”
Meir Wilner, Communist deputy in the Knesset and a prominent figure in the party, urged the workers in Israel to fight against the “hunger regime” of Premier David Ben Gurion. He also charged that the Ben Gurion Government was taking orders from the Western Powers against the “peace-loving bloc.” Mr. Wilner stated flatly that Israeli workers would not participate in any actions against the “peace-loving bloc.”
More than 25 percent of the delegates to the convention are Arabs, mostly from the Nazareth area. A delegation from the Mapam, headed by Dr. Moshe Sneh, attended the first session of the convention and was warmly greeted by the delegates, despite the fact that the “rightist trend within the Mapam” was later attacked by many of the Communists.