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Ben-gurion Drops His Opposition Against Rafi’s Rejoining Mapai Party

Former Premier David Ben-Gurion, who organized an Israel Workers Party (Rafi) of dissident members of the Mapai party in 1965, has dropped his opposition to a return of the dissidents to Mapai. He told Shimon Peres, Rafi’s secretary, that he would abide by the majority’s decision in negotiations now under way for a re-union.

Rafi leaders decided last night to approach Mapai on a reunion and a special committee was named to draft a letter to Mapai on the matter. Mapai is now linked in an alignment with Achdut Avodah which is the dominant element in Premier Levi Eshkol’s coalition Government. Mapai was reportedly negotiating a reunion with Achdut Avodah which split away from the Mapai party several years ago.

Mapai officials indicated they would discuss the Rafi proposal after the return here from the United States of Mrs. Golda Meir, the Mapai secretary who has been a vigorous foe of Mr. Ben-Gurion and his dissident party. It appeared however that the efforts by Mr. Peres for a reunion would succeed. A Rafi leader, Gen. Moshe Dayan, was accepted by Premier Eshkol as Israel’s Defense Minister shortly before the Arab Israel war broke out on June 5.

Even before Gen. Dayan became a member of the Eshkol Cabinet, there was a strong feeling in the country that representatives of the Rafi party should be included in the government.

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