Can Ben Gurion Reshape Israeli Politics?
A Victory for the “New Image” Mapai
THE Israeli election last month was a spectacular personal triumph for Premier David Ben Gurion, as well for his party, Mapai (the Israel Workers’ party). Not only will the party’s gain-from 32 to 38 per cent of the vote-more than recoup the losses sustained in the 1955 election; it will enable Ben Gurion to establish a new coalition government in which he will have a freer hand. The victory also strengthens Ben Gurion’s hold on his own party, which is just as essential to him if he is to achieve his stated objectives. These include reform of the Israeli electoral system, in order to remove some of the uglier features of Israeli political life (and to insure Mapai’s hegemony for years to come); the further transformation of Mapai itself from an old-style Social Democratic party to a modern, national “state party”; and the transfer df leadership to a successor of his own choosing -General Moshe Dayan.
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