A clash of titans took place in Mapai in advance of elections for the sixth Knesset in November, 1965. In the summer of 1963, David Ben Gurion resigned once again. The principal reason was a struggle between the elderly leader and representatives of the "middle generation" – Levy Eshkol, Golda Meir, Pinchas Sapir and Zalman Aran. Ben Gurion did his utmost to undermine Eshkol's leadership. Eshkol, in turn, sought to fortify the party by establishing a new Ma'arach – a merger of Mapai and Achdut Haavodah.
The Commission of Seven cleared Pinchas Lavon's name in the "unfortunate business". For Eshkol, that was the end of the affair. Ben Gurion however, continued to call for a legal commission of inquiry. Eshkol refused emphatically. In December 1964, Eshkol resigned. He was given another mandate by the president and established another government, identical to its predecessor. In February 1965 the major conflict occurred at the Mapai convention. Sharett and Golda Meir made strong speeches against "the Old Man" and Eshkol rose to the occasion in a historical speech in which he demanded that the "affair" be put to rest and the Ma'arach established. Eshkol garnered support and Ben Gurion was pushed out. He established Rafi, his last political home.