TEL AVIV (May. 10)
The Secretariate of the Democratic Movement for Change (DMC) is trying to stem an open revolt within the party against the leadership of Prof. Yigael Yadin. It voted unanimously last night to condemn Dan Bibaro, chairman of the DMC’s Council, for participating in a meeting of DMC dissidents urging Yadin’s removal. Bibaro himself was urged to resign.
The DMC, which emerged from the elections just a year ago as Israel’s third largest political party, has been wracked by internal differences since then. These were magnified when the party leadership voted to join Premier Meachem Begin’s Likud-led coalition late last year. That move alienated the DMC’s “Shinooy” (Change) faction and other moderates.
The dissident factions convened the meeting Monday night at which Yadin and other party leaders were accused of abandoning DMC principles and looking after their own interests. The meeting drew barely 100 members, but these included Bibaro who occupies a leadership position. Letters of support were received from two DMC Knesset members, Mordechai Virshuvski and Shmuel Toledano.
The Secretariate’s unanimous condemnation of the meeting indicated that Yadin still enjoys substantial support in the party that he founded. But his political base has shrunken considerably. From 40,000 registered members a year ago, the DMC is now down to 10,000, a 75 percent drop over a 12-month period.
Although Yadin holds the office of Deputy Premier, nominally the second-ranking man in government, and presides over the Cabinet when Begin is absent, his influence in government policies has been minimal. His critics say there is no evidence of any DMC in-put in foreign policy and no sign that Yadin has mode any headway toward effecting the social reforms that were a key element in the DMC’s election platform.