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Sen-aharon Criticized for Urging the Labor Party to Return to Socialism

October 27, 1972
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Itzhak Ben-Aharon, secretary general of Histadrut who recently urged the Labor Party to return to the ideals of its Socialist origins, has come under sharp attack from some of his Party colleagues. Moshe Baram, Knesset member and chairman of the Labor Coalition’s executive committee, charged that Ben Aharon’s remarks may create the impression that Histadrut was veering far leftward.

Criticism of Ben-Aharon was voiced by Labor Party members who attended a recent meeting called by Salman Yoeli, a journalist on the staff of Davar, the Histadrut organ. Yoeli said he did not see eye-to-eye with Ben-Aharon on Histadrut and the problems of Socialism. Yoeli’s remarks and those of the other participants in the meeting have been published in a booklet being circulated to Labor Party members.

Addressing the Labor Party Club here a week ago, Ben-Aharon urged his party to introduce socialist reforms that would prevent private persons or groups from accumulating capital. Warning that the Labor Party might be split if its leaders broke with the teachings of the founding fathers for an egalitarian society, Ben-Aharon said “A party which does not pursue an ideal is bound to crumble.”

Eliezer Molek, secretary of the Haifa Labor Council, said at the meeting, called by Yoeli, that it was dangerous for Ben-Aharon to blame the government for the social and economic gap in Israel. His Jerusalem counterpart, D. Eyllon, said that if Ben-Aharon is not checked, Histadrut may be split by internal rifts. Zeev Herring, a former member of the Histadrut executive committee, said he did not agree with “going to the barricades every now and then.” He claimed it was harmful to the workers. Ben-Aharon has not reacted publicly to the criticism so far.

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