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General Zionist Party Weighs Causes for Party’s Electoral Defeat

A shrunken General Zionist Party examined at its national convention today the causes for the shattering defeat in the last general elections which put the party for the first time near the bottom numerically among factions in the Knesset, Israel’s Parliament.

For the first time at a General Zionist convention in Tel Aviv, the delegates were greeted by a mayor, not of their own party–Mapai’s Mordechai Namir.

One goal of the convention was to find ways of infusing new and possibly younger blood into a party whose members have a high average age, one of the highest among Israel’s political parties.

Peretz Bernstein, president of the party, said the lack of political awareness among General Zionist adherents was one of the reasons for the party’s collapse at the last national election. He charged also that Mapai had taken over General Zionist ideals and had moved away from Socialist lines in so doing.

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