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Moshe SharettBiography of a Political Moderate$
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Gabriel Sheffer

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780198279945

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198279945.001.0001

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Selection and Elections

Selection and Elections

(p.808) 26 Selection and Elections
Moshe Sharett

Gabriel Sheffer

Oxford University Press

Mapai had begun its actual preparations for the forthcoming general elections on 19 May 1955 in a meeting of the Mapai Central Committee. For a short while it looked as if Sharett and Ben–Gurion might be renewing their old coalition, since they had been able to agree on both the Mapai platform and how the campaign should be conducted. The temporary illusion of consensus between the two was enhanced by their decision to block the proposals of a large group of younger members of their party to democratize radically the internal process through which party candidates for the Knesset were to be selected. Although Sharett had supported such reforms in principle he agreed to postpone them in order to maintain unity in the party and the support of Levi Eshkol, Golda Meir, and Zalman Aranne, who were emerging as a central group of power-brokers in Mapai. Thus a new search committee, of which Sharett was a member, was established to determine the party's candidates. But Sharett's agreement with Ben–Gurion on this issue cost him the support of these younger members, a grave tactical mistake that he would pay for dearly in his future show-down with Ben–Gurion.

Keywords:   Mapai, general elections, Sharett, Knesset, Levi Eshkol, Golda Meir, Zalman Aranne

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