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Doveish Group with Labor Party Urges Party to Recognize Right of Palestinians to Self-determination

A dovish group within the Labor Party has presented a resolution to Labor’s Central Committee urging the party to recognize the Palestinians’ right to self-determination.

The move follows Premier Shimon Peres’ meetings in Morocco last week with King Hassan. The monarch urged him to accept the Palestinians’ aspiration for political independence.

The Mashov Circle in Labor is a group comprising mainly younger party activists. Its strength is assessed at less than 10 percent of the 600-member Central Committee, and the resolution, when it comes up, is seen as certain to be defeated.

Nevertheless, the move is considered important because it reflects a wider feeling within Labor that a reassessment of party positions is due at this time, if not overdue.

Two key party figures who have voiced this sentiment in recent days are Knesset faction chairman Rafi Edri, who accompanied Peres to Morocco, and party Secretary-General MK Uzi Baram, who is a long-time dove. The Mashov Circle is led by Peres’ closest personal and political aide, Cabinet Secretary Yossi Beilin. Peres himself has said he does not see the need for a reassessment or revision of the party’s positions at this time.