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Crisis in Mapam Widens; Shift in Leadership Under Discussio

The question of whether Dr. Moshe Such and other radicals in the leadership of the left-wing Socialist Mapam Party will continue to direct the policy of the party is being discussed by the party’s Council following the adoption, earlier this week-end, of a resolution condemning the anti-Zionist and anti-Jewish aspects of the Prague trial.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett, addressing a Mapai meeting, attacked the Mapam for its attitude toward the Prague trial. Of the trial itself, he said that it could serve as a “lesson” for Israeli youth.

The Mapam Council voted by better than four to one–232 to 49, which 18 abstentions–to protest the anti-Zionist and anti-Jewish overtones to of the trial. These overtones, the resolution said, were a temporary mistake, since anti-Semitism is “not possible” in the Soviet Union or a popular republic.

While it accepted the charges against the defendants at the trial, the Mapam resolution defended Mordecai Oren, one of its own leaders who is under arrest in Prague and who confessed to anti-Czech State activities during the proceedings. The resolution said the charges against Mr. Oran resulted from a series of “tragic coincidences.” The Mapam, in the resolution, identified itself with the Zionist movement.

Finally, it attacked the Ben Gurion Government and the “rightists” for their initiation of an “anti-Communist campaign” following the trial. One of the reasons for the fact that 18 members of the Council abstained on the resolution was that it failed to attack the Ben Gurion Government for its “responsibility” for the “negative” attitude the Eastern European Communist countries recently adopted toward Israel.

The large vote attacking the Prague trial was made possible by the fact that a major portion of the Hashomer Hatzair delegates joined the more moderate minor wings of the party. However, when the two minority wings demanded that Dr. Such and his associates be ousted from party leadership, the Hashomer Hatzair opposed the move and the entire matter was referred to another meeting of the party Council.

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