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Mapam Postpones Split with Labor

January 16, 1979
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Mapam backed away from a split with the Labor Party when its Central Committee agreed last night to postpone next month’s party convention indefinitely. The convention was to have acted an a recent majority decision by Mapam’s Secretariat to withdraw from the Labor Alignment. As a result of the agreement, veteran Mapam leader Meir Talmi said he would stay on as Secretary General for the time being until a successor can be found.

Talmi had threatened to resign in a dispute over the convention agenda which reflected a split between Mapam’s urban constituents and its kibbutz members. The former favor a break with the Labor Party. The kibbutz members, usually the more radical, in this case want to preserve the Labor Alignment and insisted that the party convention limit itself to political issues. That would avoid debate on the Secretariat’s decision to leave the Alignment, an internal matter. Talmi viewed their proposal as an attempt to subvert the Secretariat’s decision and announced that be would quit.

He confirmed that he has received a letter from Labor Party chairman Shimon Peres calling for Labor and Mapam to discuss their differences and work out guidelines for future cooperation. The Central Committee decided to await the outcome of these discussions and submit them to a party convention at some later date for approval or rejection. It also approved a membership pall which, if taken, would be the first in the more than 10 years since Mapam faced the electorate as an independent faction.

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