TEL AVIV (Sep. 3)
The Mapam Party has decided to convene its central bodies to discuss the government’s decision to sell control of a nationalized fertilizer and chemical producing plant to private American interests, it was revealed today.
Observers discount the likelihood that the Mapam will upset the coalition Cabinet over the issue at this time, despite a threat by Development Minister Mordecai Bentov, Mapam leader who violently opposes the sale. Mr. Bentov charges that the plant, which falls under the jurisdiction of his Ministry, is being sold for 20,000,000 pounds though its value is 45,000,000 pounds.
It is understood that the Mapam leadership has demanded a “summit conference” of the three labor parties in the Cabinet–Mapai, Mapam, Achdut Avoda–to iron out differences over the issue. The Mapam views the proposed sale of a 50 percent interest in the plant as a test case of the principle of keeping nationalized economic facilities under government control. Sale of such property, the left-wing Socialist party claims, conflicts with the interests of the Israeli people.