Israel Parliamentary Elections Today; 1,499,700 to Cast Their Votes
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Israel Parliamentary Elections Today; 1,499,700 to Cast Their Votes

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More than 1,499,700 voters are eligible to cast their votes tomorrow in the national elections in Israel, including 125,219 Israeli Arabs, and although many of them are weary of the battle between Premier Levi Eshkol and ex-Premier David Ben-Gurion, it is anticipated that the turnout for the election of the 120 members of the Parliament will be very large.

The official result of the elections will be known in about five days only, but unofficial results are expected to be known Wednesday morning. Computers will be used for speedy compilation of the vote. Striking computer technicians today said that 10 of the strikers will be permitted to work on election night to tally the poll.

The total of eligible voters is 200,000 higher than the total of voters in the last national elections of 1961. The largest block of voters is in the area of Greater Tel Aviv where 515,693 persons have registered for casting their ballots.


The nationwide campaigning for tomorrow’s parliamentary elections increased in intensity today with the publication of conflicting versions on the responsibility for the raid by Israeli troops in 1953 on the Jordanian village of Kybia, in which more than 40 Arabs were killed.

In an installment of a book by Mr. Ben-Gurion, published in the afternoon daily Yediet Achronot, the former Premier said that he did not know about the raid until he heard reports from the Jordanian Ramallah radio broadcasts. All he knew about the rail at the time, he said, was what acting Defense Minister Pinhas Lavon told him–that Israeli border settlers took matters into their own hands and carried out the raid after a particularly vicious murder.

Mr. Ben-Gurion said that the late Moshe Sharett, Israel’s Acting Premier at the time of the raid, knew of plans for the Kybia action but “saw no reason to object to it.” Replying to the charge, Mr. Sharett’s son, Yaacov, published in another afternoon daily, Maariv, excerpts from his father’s dairy in support of what he said was a “distortion” of his father’s role in the Kybia affair.

In his diary, Mr. Sharett said that, as Acting Premier, he opposed the retaliatory raid on Kybia but was “over-ruled” by Lavon who told Sharett that Ben-Gurion favored the operation. “Not only had Ben-Gurion given his opinion but it was his opinion which weighed the scales against me,” Sharett declared in his diary.

Sharett also described how Ben-Gurion prepared a statement broadcast after the Kybia raid in which the action was attributed to Israeli border settlers who lost patience with the repeated murders from across the border and understandably took matters into their own hands.

“I told Zippora–my wife–that I would have resigned rather than stand before a microphone and tell the people of Zion and the whole world a fictional account of something that happened,” Sharett declared in the diary. He added that “Ben-Gurion himself conceived this version and initiated the broadcast.”


Prime Minister Eshkol today rejected “with disgust” criticism voiced in the Israeli press that the retaliation raid of an Israeli military unit into Lebanon last weekend was timed and directed more as a move to win more votes for the Eshkol list in the elections, rather than as a military necessity.

The independent morning newspaper, Haaretz, stated that Israel has shown much more patience with belligerent Jordan than it has with traditionally moderate Lebanon, and doubted the effectiveness of the action. The evening newspaper Maariv said the Government’s action against Lebanon “requires explanation.” Haboker, echoing the views of the Liberal Party, feared the reprisal raid may turn moderate Lebanon toward extreme hostility. Hamodia, organ of the Poalei Agudath Israel, declared that the timing of the retaliatory raid “arouses suspicion.”

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