Histadrut Executive Expels Mapam Members from Arab Department

A separate May Day parade under the auspices of the Mapam in Nazareth, scene of a violent clash between Communist Arab rioters and Israeli police, led to the expulsion last night of Mapam representatives from the Arab Department of Histadrut, the Israel Labor Federation.

The expulsion decision, marking one of the most serious rifts in Mapam-Mapai cooperation in Histadrut, was made by the Histadrut Executive Bureau after the meeting listened to a reading of a leaflet circulated by Mapam among Nazareth’s Arab residents prior to the May Day parade.

The pamphlet said: “Arab workers and fellaheen, for 364 days of the year, Mapai expels you from your work but on May Day it allows its paid men to demand reopening of Histadruts doors to you.”

Reuven Barkatt, head of the Histadrut’s International and Arab Departments, who read the leaflet, called Mapam’s May Day behavior a “breach of Histadrut discipline.” The decision against Mapam was approved by a majority vote of 13 members of the Executive Bureau. Mapam, the Achdut Avodah and the Progressive members of the bureau opposed the motion. Debate on a proposal by Barkatt to expel four Communist members from the Histadrut’s 96-member executive committee was postponed for a week.

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