Israel’s voting population will be well represented in the forthcoming Knesset elections, and by the looks of it; possibly over-represented. Twenty two election lists, including 10 completely new lists, were submitted last night before the 10 p.m. deadline. Each new list had to deposit an IL 15,000 bond and submit a minimum of 750 valid signatures of supporters to enable it to file and obtain a place on the Oct. 30 ballot. The signatures submitted with the lists will have to be verified by the Central Election Committee by Oct. 10 and candidates then have two days to appeal any committee decision to the Supreme Court.
The Labor Party submitted an election list containing an unusually large number of new and relatively youthful candidates. The Mapai section of the party came up with 15 new names. Six of them were in the 30-40 age bracket and three between the ages of 40-50. In Israeli politics this group is considered to be of a tender age. Mapam, a partner in the Labor Alignment presented a list minus its veteran leaders. Labor’s bow in the direction of youth was apparently in response to criticism that the party was not giving its younger elements a chance to stand for office.
A great deal of politicking, trading, and disputes inside each party took place during the last few days–and in some instances right up to the deadline–in a scramble for “safe” places on the election lists. Since Israelis do not vote for individual candidates but for party lists, the assigned place on the list is all important for election.
RABIN IN 20TH PLACE;SHAPIRO, SHAREF LOWER
The Labor Alignment list is headed by Premier Golda Meir. Her name is followed by Deputy Premier Yigal Allon; Foreign Minister Abba Eban and Defense Minister Moshe Dayan. Fifth on the list is Mapam Secretary General Meir Talmi, followed by Finance Minister Pinhas Sapir; Knesset Speaker Israel Yeshayahu; Police Minister Shlomo Hillel; Minister-Without-Portfolio Israel Galili; Dov Zakin (Mapam); and Transport Minister Shimon Peres.
The 20th place on the Labor Alignment list, which is regarded as “safe” was given to Gen. Yitzhak Rabin, former Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. who was Chief of Staff during the Six-Day War. Former Transport Minister Moshe Carmel has the 25th spot, and former Intelligence chief, Gen. Aharon Yariv, the 27th.
To open “safe” spots for younger candidates, 13-members of the present Knesset, including three Cabinet ministers, were relegated to lower places on the list. The Ministers–Chaim Gvati (Agriculture), Yaacov Shimshon Shapiro (Justice) and Zeev Sharef (Housing)–may still serve in the new government, however, since Cabinet members are not required to be members of the Knesset.
Others placed in lower spots include Deputy Finance Minister Zvi Dienstein who is going into private business, and Labor veterans Eliyahu Sassoun. Itzhak Koren, Aharon Becker, who was a former secretary general of Histadrut, and Mrs Zena Harman, wife of Hebrew University president Avraham Harman. Sassoun asked to be relieved for reasons of health. Harman, Koren and Becker were displaced by stronger pressure groups to make room for their own candidates as was Mordechai Surkiss, a former deputy secretary general of the Labor Party and a member of its Rafi faction.
YAARI, HAZAN BOW OUT
Two veteran Mapam leaders, Yaacov Hazan and Meir Yaari, bowed out voluntarily and the party’s list will be headed by Talmi. Absorption Minister Nathan Peled (Mapam) announced several weeks ago that he would not run for re-election to the Knesset.
Likud entered a list headed by Menachem Beigin (Herut) and Elimelech Rimault (Liberal). Herut candidates at the top of the list are Yohanan Bader, Benjamin Halevi and Chaim Landau. Top-Liberals are Simcha Ehrlich and Gen. (Ret.) Aryeh Sharon. Also among the top 10 are Yigal Horowitz (State List); Shmuel Tamir (Free Center); and Abraham Yaffe (Greater Israel). The parties comprising Likud have 31 seats in the present Knesset and hope to increase their representation to at least 35 in the next.
The National Religious Party, which had fought up to the last minute over the order of candidates on their slate, finally agreed almost at deadline filing time. Those topping the list were Yosef Burg, Transport Minister; Zerah Warhaftig, Religious Minister; Knesseter Itzhak Rafael; Michael Hazani, Welfare Minister and Zevulun Hammer. Tova Sanhedrai, the NRP’s women’s leader, submitted her own list because she was offered the 13th place on the NRP list which was not deemed “safe.”
ALONI HEADS OWN LIST; FACES OUSTING FROM PARTY
Among the 10 new lists of the 22 submitted were the Black Panthers headed by Knesseter Shalom Cohen; the Blue and White Panthers, which split last year from the Black Panthers, headed by Eddie Malka; the Socialist Revolutionary Party headed by Rami Livneh who is serving a prison term for his membership in a spy ring; two Sephardic lists, and the Jewish Defense League.
The big surprise was the last minute candidacy of former Knesseter Shulamit Aloni, the tireless fighter for the separation of religion and state, for women’s rights and for civil marriage. She presented her own list, “The Movement for Civil Rights,” a half hour before deadline after friends throughout the country urged her to do so because she was not on the Labor Party list even though she is a member of the party’s central committee. Ms. Aloni now faces possible expulsion from the party because Labor Party circles view this step as a serious breach of party discipline.
Party after party representatives trooped into a Knesset committee room to register with the Central Elections Committee headed by Supreme Court Justice Halm Cohn. As each group of party representatives left, Cohn smilingly wished them luck and a Happy New Year.
Absorption Minister Nathan Peled and other officials were on hand at Lod Airport this morning to greet the last flight of Jewish immigrants from the Soviet Union to arrive before the Jewish New Year. A large group arriving from Vienna on a chartered airliner was presented with flowers and treated to coffee and cake at the airport. Poled personally shook hands with all of them.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.