Mapam Agrees to Have Their Knesset Members Participate in Symposium

Mapam’s veteran leaders Meir Yaari and Yaacov Hazan found themselves in the minority yesterday when the Mapam Secretariat voted in favor of allowing its two Knesset members, Chaika Grossman and Naftali Feder, to participate in a symposium organized by New Outlook magazine to take place in Washington in October. At a meeting of the Secretariat last week Yaari and Hazan succeeded in preventing a resolution from being passed approving their Knesseters’ participation despite the fact that the general feeling was for participation in the symposium.

In yesterday’s session, Hazan was absent and Yaari left before the vote was taken. The sole holdout was Knesseter Omri Ron. However, the Secretariat laid down specific conditions for participation: that there be no representatives of the Palestine Liberations Organization at the symposium, that no resolutions be adopted at the conference, and that there be a wide range of opinions. The Secretariat also suggested that the venue of the symposium and its timing be reviewed by the organizers.

A great deal of heat was generated in Mapam and in the Labor Party over the symposium entitled “The Middle East Between War and Peace.” The Labor Party Bureau, the highest decision-making body of the party, went on record as opposing the participation of its Knesseters who were invited to take part in the symposium but did not officially forbid their participation. Party officials felt that the symposium would not be one-sidedly in favor of the Palestinians. New Outlook editorial board members said; however, that the symposium would be open to a wide range of views.

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