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November 24, 1989 - Image 90

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-11-24

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 1989

Control Of Histadrut
Remains With Labor

DAVID LANDAU

Special to The Jewish News

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sraelis who voted in the
Histadrut elections last
Monday left the giant
trade union federation in the
hands of the Labor Party,
depriving Prime Minister
Yitzhak Shamir of a political
advantage he had hoped to
exploit on his visit to the
United States this week.
Shamir's Likud Party was
aiming for a third of the
votes in the new Histadrut
Executive.
It won 28 percent, accor-
ding to an Israel Television
sample poll broadcast just as
the 3,000 voting stations
around the country closed.
According to the poll,
Labor scored 54 percent,
about as expected. The so-
cialist Mapam Party sur ;
prised many by winning an
estimated 10 percent of the
vote. The joint Jewish-Arab
list got 5 percent, and the
Citizens Rights Movement
squeezed by with 3 percent,
the threshold for representa-
tion in Histadrut bodies.
There was jubilation at
Labor Party headquarters
over the apparent results.
Likud's reaction was more
subdued. A spokesman said
the party hoped to reach 30
percent when all of the votes
are counted. But their goal
of 34 percent appeared to be
out of reach. .
For his visit to the United
States, Shamir had hoped to
be able to point to a strong
showing in Histadrut, a tra-
ditional Labor stronghold, as
evidence that Likud's for-
eign policies enjoy massive
popular support in Israel.
Throughout the election
campaign, Shamir ham-
mered away at the idea that
the Histadrut vote would be
as much or more a referen-
dum on peace policy than on
labor-related matters.
The Labor Party denied
that at' first. But when it
became clear that Likud was
bitterly divided over
Shamir's peace plan,
Laborites stopped rebutting
the prime minister's argu-
ment.
Likud did make gains. Its
28 percent, if it holds, is a
considerable improvement
over the 22 percent it won in
the last Histadrut election in
1985.
Moreover, it was disadvan-
taged by running the little
known Ya'acov Shammai for
Histadrut secretary-general
against Labor's popular

1

Yisrael Kessar:
A second term.

Yisrael Kessar, who is now
assured of a second term.
Nevertheless, if Likud still
lacks the clout to block
major constitutional mea-
sures in the Histadrut Cen-
tral Committee, it may be
able to console itself by win-
ning control of a string of
local labor councils
dominated until now by
Labor. The local councils ran
separate slates.
Laborites played down the
success of Mapam, noting
that it achieved 12 percent
when it ran jointly with
Labor in 1985.
But independent observers
credited its popular can-
didate, Yair Tsaban, with a
fine showing. When Mapam
announced it would run in-
dependently, pollsters hard-
ly gave the small left-wing
party the 3 percent
minimum.
Kessar said Labor and
Mapam together were likely
to end up in a stronger posi-
tion.

Aliyah Rises
By 54 Percent

Tel Aviv (JTA) — Im-
migration to Israel during
the first nine months of 1989
was 54 percent higher than
for the same period last year,
the Central Bureau of
Statistics reported recently.
A dramatic rise in the
number of emigres from the
Soviet Union was largely
responsible. They numbered
5,821 this year, compared to
1,574 in 1988.
There were also 1,447
newcomers from Argentina,
1,099 from the United
States, 656 from France and
348 from Britain. Total
aliyah from January
through September was
14,153.

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