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Labor Party Vets See Rival in Avineri

September 26, 1977
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Prof. Shlomo Avineri, former director general of the Foreign Ministry who has joined the Labor Party, has aroused the misgivings of party veterans who fear that the brilliant, dove-ish academician intends to seek a leadership role.

His declaration of loyalty to Labor at the nadir of that party’s fortunes is regarded by many observers as a move by Avineri to establish a political constituency among the party’s dove-ish elements. Labor is now in a process of soul-searching and the old line leadership may soon be displaced by “young blood”. Notable contenders are Uzi Baram, Yossi Sarid and Micha Harish who regard themselves as likely candidates for promotion in the party hierarchy. Now they must contend with Avineri who is as articulate as he is erudite.

Avineri, who announced his move last week, had been named director general by former Foreign Minister Yigal Allon. The appointment was bitterly imposed by Likud, then in opposition. When the Likud government took office, Avineri submitted his resignation, promptly accepted by Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan, and returned to teaching at the Hebrew University where he heads the political science department.

During his one year tenure at the Foreign Ministry he became a familiar face on Israeli television, to such a degree that aides to Allon complained that Avineri was upstaging his boss.

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