Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Herut Power Struggle Continues

December 26, 1972
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Menachem Beigin, leader of the Herut Party, moved yesterday to foreclose any possibility that Gen. Ezer Weizman might withdraw his resignation as chairman of the Party’s Executive. Weizman submitted his resignation at the close of the Herut convention last Thursday. Beigin was reported yesterday to have proposed the name of Knesset-member Chaim Landau to replace Weizman. The Party’s new 250-member Central Committee, composed largely of Beigin supporters, is expected to accede to their leader’s wishes when it convenes next Sunday to elect a new chairman.

The four-day Herut convention was marked by a power struggle between Weizman’s supporters and the veteran party members loyal to Beigin. The latter emerged victorious and, according to observers, only deepened his rift with Weizman when he referred to the former Air Force commander and former Transport Minister on a televised interview as “A naughty boy with considerable charm” who has “learned his lesson.”

Meanwhile, Weizman, whose resignation caused a party crisis, has said he would continue his political activity within the party and would head a faction that would stand up against the faction headed by Beigin. In various interviews, Weizman said that he joined Herut because he had hoped it was different from other parties, but he found that it’s like any other party. “Many people blindly follow Beigin,” he said.

Herut movement veterans denied any significance to the followers of Weizman. “He is not a center of any force,” said Landau. Knesseter Yohanan Bader, also of the old leadership, said “there will not be two Beigins in Herut.” However, it is evident that Herut is now in a chaotic mood, observers said. People are waiting to see what will develop from the party’s crisis.

The Liberals are likewise waiting for developments. A weakened Herut would not be much help in election campaigns, some observers said. But Labor Party general secretary Aharon Yadlin appeared rather satisfied. Commenting on the dramatic end of the Herut convention, he said, “Herut is not even capable of establishing a shadow government, let alone a real one. It is not an alternative.”

Recommended from JTA