Mapam and Its Kibbutz Movement Supporting Government’s Stand

Mapam and its kibbutz movement, Kibbutz Haartzi, have decided today to support the government in its search for an interim agreement and will help the government explain to the public the true meaning of such an accord. The Mapam and the Kibbutz Haartzi central bodies met today in Tel Aviv to discuss ways and means to counter the Likud and Orthodox-led demonstrations.

Last night Mapam and its kibbutz members came to Tel Aviv’s main junctions with posters in support of an interim arrangement. The posters stated, “Give it a chance.” The demonstrators chanted, danced, stood in picket lines and sang peace songs. There was no police intervention. “If we are asked to leave any place, we shall act accordingly,” said organizers of these Mapam-led demonstrations. More such peace demonstrations are scheduled for this evening and for tomorrow.

What prompted Mapam to take such initiative now, just as the anti-Kissinger and anti-settlement demonstrations have somewhat subsided? Nathan Peled, a veteran Mapam leader, explained that Mapam and kibbutz members felt that the earlier demonstrations were an attempt to prevent a free, democratic decision by the competent authorities over the essential problem of reaching an interim pact.

Peled said it was felt that the government is not doing enough to explain to the public its various moves in connection with the interim agreement. The Mapam leader said that the demonstrations of the Herut and Gush Emunim were attempts to create an impression that the whole nation opposes a settlement. This, he noted, is entirely untrue, but can create a certain influence on the government and Knesseters.

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