JERUSALEM (Aug. 13)
Last-minute, powerful and concentrated efforts to win a maximum of voters for their lists of candidates to the Israel Parliament were made today by all political parties at huge rallies in the major cities, and in appeals over the government-owned radio, Kol Israel. The elections are taking place Tuesday.
All parties were given equal time on Kol Israel to present their views. Fourteen parties are competing in the elections for the 120 seats in the parliament. The election campaign so far is considered the dullest of the four previous national elections that have taken place since the establishment of Israel. This is the fifth election campaign to the Knesset, Israel’s Parliament.
In an effort to bring as many voters as possible to the polls, various parties arranged today for special transportation by bus, taxis, private cars and even by airplanes. Many tens of thousands of voters who either left their former residences and now live in distant sections of the country, and thousands of voters who are now vacationing in various recreation places, will be brought in this way to the polling stations to cast their votes.
The campaign leaders of the parties expressed fear today that the hot weather may discourage many voters from going to the polls. The campaign mass-meetings held today and yesterday in Tel Aviv indicated that the people are indifferent to the elections. Only the meetings addressed by Premier David Ben-Gurion and by the Herut leader Menahem Beigin had large attendance, and even they did not draw crowds as large as anticipated.
BEN-GURION SAYS DR. GOLDMANN IS “KNOWINGLY. MISLEADING” ISRAELIS
Premier Ben-Gurion, leading the campaign for his Mapai Party, addressing 20,000 people at an election rally in Ramat-Gan, said that Dr. Nahum Goldmann who is now campaigning here for the newly-formed Liberal Party — a merger of the General Zionist and Progressive parties — is “knowingly misleading” Israeli and public opinion by alleging that the Israel Government has not made sufficient efforts to reach peace with the Arabs.
Mr. Ben-Gurion emphasized that Israel had repeatedly offered peace and mutual aid to the Arab states since its birth in 1948. The Israel Premier expressed strong doubts whether Arab-Israeli understanding would be attainable by an Israeli demand for the “neutralization” of the Middle East, as proposed by Dr. Goldmann.
Speaking today at a rally in Tel Aviv Mr. Ben-Gurion said Israel will have to face in the near future “difficult and dangerous tests that will tax its strength to the utmost and demand maximum unity of purpose.” He also repeated his attack on Dr. Goldmann at this meeting. Dr. Goldmann was also attacked at the meeting by Mrs. Golda Meir, the Foreign Minister, and by Abba Eban, Minister of Education.
DR. GOLDMANN CHALLENGES BEN-GURION TO SUBSTANTIATE HIS CHARGE
At a press conference today, Dr. Goldmann replied to Mr. Ben-Gurion’s charge of “knowingly misleading” the nation. He challenged the Premier to “say openly when and with what I misled the nation.” He also replied specifically to attacks against him voiced at Mapai Party election rallies in the last 10 days by Golda Meir and Abba Eban.
Dr. Goldmann replied to the Mapai attacks at a press conference, rather than at an election rally, to emphasize contention that he was participating in the election campaign “not to attack any party in Israel, or any party leader.” He said he spoke now only in response to “personal attacks.” He accused Mr. Ben-Gurion, Mrs. Meir and Mr. Eban of “misrepresenting facts.”