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Opposition Laborites in Palestine Hold Convention: Hits “hegemony of One Group”

May 23, 1944
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The opposition group within the Mapai, the Jewish labor Party of Palestine, today opened its second convention with more than 350 delegates from all parts of the country in attendance. Speakers at the opening session indicated that the convention may adopt decisions which will split the ranks of organized Jewish labor in Palestine.

Aron Zisling, one of the leaders of the opposition – which is known as “group – told the convention that he “would be glad to inform the friends of the Palestine labor movement in America that unity is still possible.” He emphasized that his group is “ready for unity,” but will not submit to the Ben-Gurion group “because the majority cannot halt new developments by expelling members of the opposition.”

“There is a deep ideological crisis in our movement,” Isling declared. “Our aim is to change the regime in the Palestine labor movement. We want class differences to be abolished in our labor movement. We insist on the abolition of the hegemony of one class in the ranks of organized labor.” He suggested the establishment of a coalition composed of all Jewish labor groups in Palestine, similar to the coalition which exists in the World Zionist movement.

Isaac Tobenkin, another leader of the opposition group, attacked the Palestine labor Party for “inability to absorb other shades and nuances,” The convention, which will continue several days, decided to present its own list of candidates for the forthcoming elections to the Histadruth and to the Assefath Hanivcharim, the Palestine Jewish Assembly.

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