Laborites Mum on Report Dayan Might Quit Party

Labor Party leaders refused to comment today on reports that former Defense Minister Moshe Dayan said he would quit the party and stand for election next year on an independent list if the Labor Party’s platform includes a pledge for far-reaching territorial concessions. Dayan was supposed to have made that statement during a private meeting at his home last night with members of the National Religious Party’s Lamifneh section. Labor circles said that as long as Dayan did not confirm such a statement, they would not react.

The former defense chief reportedly took issue with Foreign Minister Yigal Allon’s view that the Jordan Valley should be Israel’s security border. Dayan is said to have insisted that Israel must retain the mountainous Samarian highlands or it would be defenseless. He also said the Arabs did not accept the Allon plan.

The plan is under sharp scrutiny from Mapam and certain groups within the Labor Party. They want a clear statement in the Labor platform on withdrawals and on negotiations with the Palestinians. Mapam has asked the government to state its readiness to negotiate with any Palestinian factor that recognized Israel. The Labor Party’s position so far has been no negotiations with the PLO under any circumstances. Mapam has said it would leave the Labor Alignment if it cannot live with the Labor Party’s policies.

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