Mapai to Finalize Expulsion of Ben-gurionists; Sends Official Letters

The leadership bureau of the Mapai Party decided here last night, at a meeting attended by Prime Minister Levi Eshkol, to send official letters to ex-Premier David Ben-Gurion and all other known adherents of his new Israel Labor List, informing them formally that they have been expelled from the party.

The decision was taken because Mr. Ben-Gurion and his supporters have claimed that the decision of the Mapai Secretariat last week to oust the Ben-Gurionists had stated they had “expelled themselves” by forming a new election list. The Ben-Gurionists had insisted that the Secretariat move was “vague” and allows them to remain as members of Mapai. The official letters will eliminate that ambiguity.

Meanwhile, the Ben-Gurionists published today the first issue of their weekly newspaper, Mabat Hadash (New Look). The publication includes an interview with former Deputy Defense Minister Shimon Peres stating that members of the Ben-Gurion group had been offered government posts. Mr. Peres resigned from his post several weeks ago to join the Ben-Gurion movement.

“Even within Mapai,” stated Mr. Peres, “Ben-Gurion and his supporters were always in the minority. We could have remained in the Government. We were offered Jobs. But, if we remained, we would have had to give up principles, and we were not prepared to do so.”

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