TEL AVIV (Nov. 5)
Moshe Dayan, who resigned yesterday as Agriculture Minister, may lead an opposition group against Premier Levi Eshkol within the Mapai party, evening newspapers predicted today.
That possibility was raised in an address by the former Chief of Staff at a Mapai branch last night in which he said his “non-identity” of views with the Premier was not restricted to state matters. He said he did not see eye-to-eye with the Premier on a variety of issues, ranging from economic to security to foreign affairs. Gen. Dayan will continue as a member of Parliament and as a member of the Mapai Secretariat.
Meanwhile, it was indicated that while Premier Eshkol maintained an optimistic view about future struggles within the party, there were rumors that more resignations might develop among Mapai foes of plans for alignment with the left Achdut Avodah. Talks have been stalled for several weeks on a complex plan for an independent Achdut faction in the Histadrut, Israel’s Labor Federation, as part of an agreement for a joint Mapai-Achdut slate in the next general elections.
In a related development, a meeting of Mapai leaders in Haifa with former Premier David Ben-Gurion indicated that the former Premier was determined “to get to the end” of the Lavon affair. The former Premier still opposes any invitation to Finhas Lavon to return to the Mapai leadership and remains totally opposed to the proposal for alignment with Achdut in its present form.
Mr. Lavon, who was forced out as Israel Defense Minister in 1954 in connection with a disastrous security mishap that year and later from the post of Secretary General of the Histadrut, is deeply involved in the alignment talks. His supporters in Mapai and in the Histadrut insist on his being included on the joint election list for national elections but Premier Eshkol has indicated he has no interest in an all-out fight for such listing.
Mr. Ben-Gurion paved the way for a new inquiry into Lavon’s role in the 1954 mishap by presenting what he called new evidence recently to Justice Minister Dov Joseph. Premier Eshkol, who has sought to end the decade-old controversy, has warned against reopening the Lavon case.
In another development more and more Liberal party leaders have been expressing views in favor of alignment with the right-wing Herut against the proposed Mapai-Achdut alignment. In a number of places, Liberal party members have indicated they will seek to form united lists with Herut in future and municipal elections even if the Liberal party central committee opposes such local joint slates.