TEL AVIV (Dec. 20)
The split between Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion and Pinhas Lavon, secretary-general of Histadrut, the Israel Federation of Labor, has widened, with Mr. Ben-Gurion sharply attacking Mr. Lavon while the latter complains that rumors are being spread “deliberately” indicating that his days as head of Histadrut are numbered.
The disagreement between the two leaders–one heading the Government, the other heading the labor organization which is the backbone of the dominant Mapai party- goes back to the internal crisis of three months ago over the so-called “Lavon Affair.” At that time, charges were made that there had been perjury in 1955, committed allegedly by some Army officers, resulting in Mr. Lavons resignation from the post of Defense Minister.
Mr. Ben-Gurion, who had absented himself over the week-end from a meeting of the Mapai secretariat, today sent a letter sharply attacking Mr. Lavon and saying he would discuss the affair further when the Ministerial Commission, recently appointed, goes into the entire “Lavon Affair.”
According to Mr. Lavon, not only Mr. Ben-Gurion but also Yosef Almogi, one of the most powerful politicians in the Mapai party, has turned against him. Two other important members of Mapai, Israel’s Foreign Minister Golda Meir and Moshe Sharett, are understood to be sympathetic to Mr. Lavon but feel that he has recently made some unwarranted statements on the entire affair.