Israeli Premier David Ben Gurion called a special meeting of the Mapai. (Labour Party) Central Committee in Tel Aviv January 12, in order to clearly state his views on the Lavon "Affair" and the Cabinet decision to absolve the former Defense Minister of having ordered a disastrous security action in 1954.
GV Mapai Secretariat Building.
LV Mr. Sapir, Minister of Commerce, arrives.
CU PAN Argov, Chairman of Defense Committee.
SV PAN Foreign Affairs Minister Golda Meir.
SV PAN Assistant Defense Minister Perez and Labour Minister Yosephtal arrive together.
GV Histadrout (Trade Union head office)
SV Members arrive.
SCU PAN Premier Ben Gurion arrives.
SV PAN Mr Pinhas Lavon arrives.
Shot through window - meeting in progress.
STV Members leaving.
CTV Lavon among members.
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Background: Israeli Premier David Ben Gurion called a special meeting of the Mapai. (Labour Party) Central Committee in Tel Aviv January 12, in order to clearly state his views on the Lavon "Affair" and the Cabinet decision to absolve the former Defense Minister of having ordered a disastrous security action in 1954.
Prime Minister Ben Gurion - who recently threatened to resign unless the 7-man Ministerial Committee revoked this decision - dealt with four main issues in his statement: 1. The need for a legal inquiry into the "affair". 2. The work of the Ministerial Committee. 3. Former Defence Minister Pinhas Lavon's statements on the matter over the last two months, and the damage caused by them. 4. Mr. Lavon's actions as Minister of Defense during 1954.
The Israeli Premier said that it was the "1960 Affair", namely Mr Lavon's appearance before the Committee, that had caused him to seek for himself the truth about the incident in 1954. He took Mr. Lavon to task in the severest terms for putting the country into "turmoil" in recent months.
In his reply, Mr. Lavon said that the Mapai should not deal with any "Affairs" whether of 1960 or 1961 origin as it could not improve the situation and "could only prove dangerous for the party". He also urged the Premier to stop asking for further legal inquiries.
A personal feud is said to have developed between Mr. Ben Gurion and Mr. Lavon following several statements by the latter regarded in Israel as insinuations that the Prime Minister and high officials in the defense department and conspired in 1954 to undermine his position as Defense Minister.