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Liberal Party in Israel Split over Talks with Herut; New Party Formed

Formation of a new political party was announced here tonight by the members of the old Progressive Party who had joined the General Zionists to form the present Liberal Party. The new groups will call itself the Independent Liberal Party.

The decision to form a new grouping was made by the former Progressives at a meeting here, where they objected strenuously to the plans for the merger of the Liberal Party with Herut. The principal speakers at tonight’s meeting–Moshe Kol and former Justice Minister Pinhas Rosen–blamed the former General Zionists for causing the new split.

All efforts to mediate the differences over Herut alignment inside the Liberal Party failed. Those seeking to avert the split had proposed that the planned Herut-Liberal merger be postponed until after next November’s scheduled general elections.