TEL AVIV (Jan. 6)
The Herut faction of Likud ended its convention here this morning after adopting a policy on territorial concessions somewhat more moderate than its previous position and agreeing to consider changes in Israel’s electoral system. Veteran Herut leader Menachem Beigin was unanimously reelected to head the faction’s election list.
But whether Beigin will be chosen to head the Likud list in the May elections, with the possibility of becoming Israel’s next Premier, depends on his acceptance by the other factions comprising Likud, notably the Liberal Party. Some elements within the party are known to believe that Beigin’s unrelenting hard-line on territorial and other issues has frightened a large bloc of voters in the past and thus prevented a Likud victory.
For the first time. Herut adopted resolutions that speak of readiness for territorial compromises in exchange for peace, although these are limited to the Sinai and Golan Heights. Herut resolved that the West Bank and Gaza Strip must remain permanently under Israel’s sovereignty. It stated that when agreements are reached with the Arabs, treaties would be signed ending the state of war and setting new boundaries in Sinai and the Golan Heights.
BASIS, FOR PEACE AGREEMENTS
Herut insisted that the peace agreements must be accompanied by appropriate security arrangements, recognition of the right of self-determination, security and peace for all nations in the region, rehabilitation of refugees where they now live, regular diplomatic relations and cooperation in the economic, scientific and tech-
Herut ruled out any contact with the Palestine Liberation Organization which it called “an organization of murderers” and rejected any Palestinian state which it called an “Arafat state.” The faction resolved for the first time to set up a special committee to consider election reforms and bring its recommendations to the central committee. A new central committee of 581 members was elected, an increase of 115 members, in response to demands from various party branches for better representation.
Beigin delivered a long, emotional address before the convention closed. He said that he will retire in six years, when he reaches the age of 70. But, he told his Herut colleagues, “If you elect me head of the party and if we win the elections, I can assure you that we shall set up a good government that will not rule but serve the nation loyally and a new spirit will come over Israel.”