Mapam Split over Prague Trial; Extremists Lose Authority

The left-wing Socialist Mapam Party of Israel has been split wide open as an aftermath of the Prague trial, it was learned here today. Although the split has not been announced officially yet, such an announcement will take place within about ten days when the extremist group, led by Moshe Sneh and Yaacov Riftin, are expected to set up an independent faction within the Mapam Party.

Meanwhile, since the defeat of the Mapam-Riftin forces in the central committee over the party’s resolution on the Prague trial, the extremist leaders have been removed from positions of authority within the party. Dr. Sneh has been ousted as secretary of the Israel-Soviet Friendship League, Mr. Riftin is no longer political secretary of the party and Eliezer Peri, another member of the group, has been removed from the editorship of the party’s newspaper, Ai Hamishmar. It has also been decided to remove secretaries of party branches throughout the country who are tied up with the Sneh-Riftin forces.

Yaacov Chazan, one of the moderate leaders, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that the moderates are now strongly enough entrenched in the leadership of the party to purge the Mapam of "elements foreign to Zionist-Socialist ideals."

Dr. Sneh told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that his forces "will not sit by idly" while the moderate faction fills the leading posts in the party with its followers. He said that his group would organize an independent faction and would fight for its place in the labor movement. If necessary, Dr. Sneh emphasized, his group would not "hesitate for a single moment" to leave the party, but would retain its seats in Parliament.

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