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Communist Party in Israel Splits; Holds Two Separate Conventions

The two wings of the badly split Israeli Communist party proceeded today with separate conventions, one in Haifa and one in Tel Aviv. The basic issue which has split the tiny party is the Arab-Israel deadlock. A “Nasserist” group, led by Towfik Toubi and Meir Wilner, opposes the stand of the “loyalist” group led by Samuel Mizunis and Moshe Sheh. The “Nasserist” wing is supported mainly by Arab elements.

The “loyalists” hold that Israel must make concessions, including acceptance of Arab refugees and cutting its Western alliances, but they openly criticize Arab threats to destroy Israel and contend that Arab recognition of Israel’s existence is a prerequisite to peace. The clash of views at meetings for elections to the annual convention led to a rift so deep that two conventions, scheduled to open today, were decided on.

Fraternal delegates from the Soviet Union, East Germany, France, Italy, Canada and Mongolia have accepted invitations but it was not known which of the two Communist party conventions the fraternal delegations would attend.

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