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Golda Mei Starts Restoring Unity in Mapai Party; Deplores Split

February 7, 1966
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Mrs. Golda Meir, the new secretary-general of Premier Levi Eshkol’s Mapai party, began today the task of restoring the party unity splintered by former Premier David Ben-Gurion.

She was elected by acclamation, first by the party Secretariat and then by its Central Committee at a meeting at which Premier Eshkol said he believed that the party could find sufficient internal strength to respond to Mrs, Meir’s leadership. The split developed from Mr. Ben-Gurion’s decision to form a splinter party, the Israel Worker’s list (Rafi) which unsuccessfully challenged Mr. Eshkol’s leadership in the general election last November 2.

Mrs. Meir said that, in assuming the post, she did so in full understanding of the damage wrought by the split which, she said, was in contrast to the movements tradition of unity. Acknowledging the “residual wounds” among Mapai comrades, she promised to work to heal them.

She also reiterated her belief that the Mapai alignment with Achdut Avoda, which won a resounding victory in the November elections, and which was one of the reasons for Mr, Ben-Gurion’s fight, was the first stage toward a full merger of the two parties, which should be expedited.

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