81) In his opinion, the GZP should have been described as a center liberal party that supported a liberal social and economic policy.
In his opinion, it was preferable that he should not be fully identified with the party and to present its success as a GZP accomplishment without American support.
Silver and his aides understood that the Israeli and world arenas were closely linked; a GZP victory would have had not only local influence, but would have raised the status of the General Zionists worldwide and prevented Mapai and Ben-Gurion from consigning the Zionist movement to a weak position and ruling it through the Israeli political establishment.
In their opinion, a coalition that included the religious parties but not the GZP would be disastrous for these goals.
As noted above, the GZP served as the central vehicle for American Zionist activity in Israel, but that situation depended on the GZP's willingness to pass on information to the United States from newspaper clippings and legislative proposals, to collaborate with Silver and Neumann in decision making, and to accept their advice.
The weakening of the Silver group paralleled the gradual weakening of the GZP in the Israeli political system during the 1950s, reflected in its inability to enter coalitions.
See also the English translation of the GZP demands during negotiations, Feb.
Regarding Silver's and Netimann's involvement in local elections and the significance that GZP members attributed to it, see Bernstein to Silver, Nov.
Formulators of the American decision were aware that in Israel another party, too, referred to itself as centrist: the Progressive Party, which seceded from the GZP in 1948.
In a letter to MK Joseph Sapir, Silver expressed hope that the GZP would become part of the government.
In January 1954, Ben-Gurion resigned and foreign minister Moshe Sharett formed a government with four GZP members.
Regarding the election results, especially the GZP success in Tel Aviv, see Israel Government Year Book (1952): 453-56.