Army Booklet on Israel’s Elections Provokes Debate in Knesset

An election atmosphere emerged suddenly in the Knesset, Israel’s Parliament, in a brawling debate over an army booklet on the meaning of the elections which opposition parties charged contained propaganda for Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion’s Mapai party.

The booklet was is sued by the Israel General Staff to brief troops on the background and significance of the general elections scheduled for August 15. Distribution of the booklet was halted several days ago after the Central Elections Committee advised the Army that even if the booklet did not contain any propaganda, the suspicion warranted its cancelation.

The Prime Minister, replying to motions for debate on the charge, said he had found nothing wrong with the booklet but had ordered a stop to its distribution anyway. His reply was frequently drowned out by shouted exchanges between deputies of the Mapai party and of opposition parties.

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