Mapai,Rafi Lick Wounds, Establish
United Labor Party; B-G Alone
JERUSALEM (JTA)—More than down all barriers, narrowed dif-
2,200 delegates joined by guests ferences and revived labor unity
and well-wishers from 22 countries in Israel.
around the world, attended the
The secretary-general of each of
founding conference here of the three parties to the merger —
Israel's new United Labor Party — Mrs. Meir for Mapai, Shimon
Mifleget Avoda Yisroel (MM) — Peres for Rafi and Israel Galili for
composed of Mapai, the party of Ahdut Avoda — declared in turn
Prime Minister Levi Eshkol; Rafi, that the merger was undertaken
the dissident labor party estab- to provide strong leadership for the
lished by former Prime Minister nation. They stressed, however,
David Ben-Gurion, and Ahdut that freedom of discussion will
Avoda, another Mapai offshoot prevail and all members will abide
which has returned to the fold.
by majority decisions.
Appeals were voiced by veteran
The contract of union, combin-
ing the three labor parties, was party members for the remaining
signed Sunday by the secretary dissidents to return to the fold,
generals of each party — Golda particularly Ben-Gurion. Calls were
Meir for Mapai, Shimon Peres for also issued to Mapam, the left-
Rafi and Israel Gall for Ahdut wing labor party which had an-
Avoda. nounced previously that it would
Adding their signatures were the seek alignment with the new party
187 members of the new party's and present a common list of can-
secretariat and the 15 founding didates in the next Knesset elec-
members. Among the latter were I tions. But the religious workers
Mrs. Rachel Ben-Zvi, w idow of , faction— Haoved Hadati — which
the late President Yitzhak Ben- had joined the Mapai-Ahdut Avoda
Zvi of- Israel and Mrs. Rachel i alignment when it was formed
Shazar, wife of incumbent Presi- three years ago, announced that
dent Zalman Shazar. it would re-establish itself as a
Noticeable by his absence from
The chairman of the Knesset
the ceremonies and conference was
formerPrime Minister David Ben- I committee announced that the de-
Gurion• who bitterly opposed- the signation, Labor Party faction, has
merger of Rafi — the Israel been approved for 44 Knesset mem-
Workers Party — with Mapai. bers who advised the committee of
Ben-Gurion stood firm on his re- their adherence to the new United
fusal to join the new party under Labor Party of Israel.
But a problem, more sentimental
its present leadership. A Rafi dele-
gation that visited his home at than political, arose when former
Sde Boker in the Negev last week- members of Rafi were reluc-
end was unable to persuade him I tant to take their new seats in the
to attend the merger festivities. Mapai section of the Knesset cham-
ber and thus leave their old leader,
Also opposed to the merger,
Ben-Gurion, seated alone.
but for different reasons, was
The central commission of the
Mrs. Nick, Israel's former for-
United Workers Party has decided,
eign minister and secretary- against the votes of Rafi and a
general of Mapai who refused an s ection of the Mapai, to continue
offer by the Mapai central corn-
singing the "International" and
mittee to become secretary-
general of the merged parties.
"I received my mandate from
you and on your dissolution I
return my mandate to you," she
The merged party will have
three bodies — a 438 member cen-
tral committee, a 187 member sec-
Friday, January 26, 1968-9
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Einstein Lodge & Chapter, B'nai B'rith
retariat and a small body to be
established next week. The merger
of the three party factions in the
Knesset and within the World
Zionist Organization, will also take
place next week.
The three parties have already
merged in several municipalities,
including Jerusalem. Dissident fac-
tions of Rafi, opposed to the mer-
ger, have seceded and declared
Ben-Gurion did not attend the
final meeting of the Rafi central
committee, but his election to the
secretariat of the new united party
was proposed by Defense Minister
Moshe Dayan, who, with Ben-
Gurion, was one of the founders
of Rafi. The nomination was
greeted by applause.
The new Labor Party began its
first task Monday — the search for
effective leadership to govern it.
The party will command 58 seats
out of 120 in the Knesset. But the
party leadership is yet to be de-
Proposals were made to estab-
Israel 20th Anniversary
SAT. EVE., FEB. 3
B'NAI DAVID SOCIAL HALL
Music by Eric Rosenow & His Continentals
Bah a five-member secretariat
as the party's supreme govern-
ing body. It would be composed
of three former Mapai members
and one each from Rafi and
Ahdut Avoda. Meanwhile, a
three-man committee was formed
to recommend practical meas-
ures to cement party unity.
Ben-Gurion took his usual seat
in the Knesset Monday afternoon
as other Rafi members moved
over to the former Mapai section
of the chamber. Ben-Gurion has
not announced his secession.
The need for unity, particularly
in face of the danger confronting
Israel since the June war, was the
main theme of the new party's in-
augural. It was stressed by Prime
Minister Levi Eshkol who was
present with his entire cabinet, to
deliver the keynote address.
Eshkol declared that the spirit of
national unity that emerged before
and during last June's war tore
Dinner-Dance Committee members, from left, seated: Mrs. Nathan Nothman, Chapter President; Mrs.
Mania Weisenberg, Chapter Israel Bond Chairman and Dinner - Dance Co - Chairman; Mrs. Nathan
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Max Pines and Mrs. Henry Morgan. Standing: Leo Rosenfeld, Leon Weberman, Zigmunt Rubin, Dinner-
Dance Committee Co-chairman; Oscar Bakalar, Lodge President; Felix Rosenweig, B'nai B'rith Council
Israel Bond Chairman; Max Fridman, Dinner-Dance Committee Chairman and Lodge Israel Bond
Chairman; Mark Webber, Eric Rosenow and Louis Kay. Not shown are Norman Adelsberg, Dinner-
Dance Co-Chairman and Walter Cykiert, Sam Freedman, Marcus Last, Al Mondroe, Mrs. Felix Rosen-
zweig and Irving Ross, members of the Committee.
$5.00 per person
Cocktails from 7:45 p.m.
Auspices, B'nai B'rith Israel Bond Committee