Mapam to Stay in Alignment

The Mapam political committee voted 45-22 last night to keep Mapam within Premier Golda Meir’s Labor Alignment. The vote was a victory for the veteran Mapam leaders Meir Yaari and Yaacov Hazan over younger challengers who wanted the party to run on a separate list in next year’s Knesset elections.

The political committee agreed, however, to start talks immediately with the Labor Alignment leadership on outstanding issues. But the talks will not be conducted under the shadow of a Mapam ultimatum to quit the Alignment. Several speakers, including Chayka Grossman who is a member of the Knesset, and Peretz Merhav were opposed to Mapam being compelled to go along with the policies of Defense Minister Moshe Dayan which they contended blocked moves toward peace with the Arabs.

Yaari argued that Premier Golda Meir does not automatically endorse all of Dayan’s policies. “She does not keep quiet and says what she wants to say,” Yaari stated. He also claimed that Mapam’s participation in the Labor Alignment enabled Histadrut Secretary General Yitzhak Ben-Aharon to stand up to his critics within the Labor Party. Ben-Aharon recently urged the party to return to the socialist principles of its origins.

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