New Knesset Faction Formed

A new Knesset faction was born Monday and immediately ran into a dispute with one of its old partners over allocations that all parties are entitled to under law. Arye Eliav and Marcia Freedman, who broke away last month from the short-lived Yaad faction, asked the Knesset to recognize them as a new Social-Democratic Party. They also demanded that Knesset Speaker Israel Yeshayahu halt allocations to Yaad until a Knesset committee decides the issue.

But Shulamit Aloni and Boaz Moav who still sit in the Knesset as the Yaad representatives, objected vehemently. Aloni, a former Cabinet Minister, claimed MKs Eliav and Freedman did not constitute a bona fide party and were not entitled to any allocation. She said that Eliav, who, like herself, had bolted the Labor Party, joined Yaad last year as an independent MK, not as a faction. She also claimed that he did nothing as a Yaad member but “just travelled around the world, wrote books and now he sets up a new party that never ran for elections and does not represent any voters.”

Yaad, a left-of-center faction, fell apart late last year after Eliav and others joined a group which demanded that Israel unilaterally offer to negotiate with any Arab group including the PLO. Aloni, while opposing the government’s foreign and domestic policies, felt that this group had gone too far to the left and was trying to drag Yaad along with it.

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