Communists Expelled from Histadrut Executive in May Day Riot Reprisal

A decision to expel all Communist members of the executive committee bureau of the Histadrut, Israel’s Labor Federation, for having “incited Israel’s Arab minority to organized resistance against the authority of the State of Israel” was approved last night by the executive.

The expulsion was a reply to the Communist-led rioting in Nazareth and other Arab cities on May Day against efforts of Israel police to prevent unauthorized demonstrations.

Reuven Barkatt, head of the Histadrut’s International and Arab Departments, said the Communists “themselves are against the State. They incited the Israel Arab population against the State and encouraged hostile Arab nationalism.”

He emphasized that the Israel Communists “made the first attempt since Israel was founded to organize a forcible resistance with the State” against the authority of the Government. He added that the expulsion of the four Communist members from the 95-member executive committee was as far as the executive committee bureau could go “without constitutional changes.”

The executive bureau decided against formally outlawing the Communist Party within the Histadrut so that workers should not suffer for their political views and to prevent putting the Communists in the position of “martyrs.”

Mapai members voted for the expulsion. Mapam, Achdut Avodah and the Progressive party’s Oved Zioni faction voted against the expulsion although all members condemned the activities of the Communists. The executive bureau’s decision required approval by the full executive committee but this was considered certain.

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