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January 18, 1974 - Image 11

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1974-01-18

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Parties Thrash Out Positions to Form Coalition; U.S. Orthodox Have Their Say

TEL AVIV (JTA) — While
ranking government ministers
conferred in Jerusalem over
the weekend with U.S. Secre-
tary of State Henry A. Kis-
singer, the formation of a
new government t h a t will
have to make the basic de-
cisions affecting Israel's fu-
ture marked time.
The Labor Party is seeking
to re-establish its old coali-
tion with the independent
Liberals and the National
Religious Party and possibly
to invite the Aguda bloc to
assure it of a comfortable
working majority of over 70
Knesset seats.
But the NRP is committed
by its pre-election pledges to
demand a broad-based na-
tional coalition government
including Likud and is under
severe pressure from its
"young guard" to press that
position with utmost vigor.
The ILP, meanwhile, has
strengthened its position by
forming a parliamentary bloc
with the new Civil Rights
Party, and while they see
eye-to-eye with Labor on for-
eign policy, they • are . unalter-
ably opposed to stricter re-
ligious enforcement, which is
the NRP's price for joining
a Labor-led coalition.
Labor for its part has ruled
out a national coalition with
Likud under any circum-
stances. While interparty
negotiations were in abey-
ance last weekend, Finance
Minister Pinhas Sapir, the
party's chief negotiator on
coalition matters, made La-
bor's position unmistakeably
clear.
Sapir spoke on Kol Israel
and the Armed Forces radio,
gave interviews to the dailies
Maariv and Davar and ad-
dressed economic editors
over the weekend. On each
of these forums he argued
that a national government
that included Likud would
mean a paralyzed govern-
ment.
A cabinet that included
Likud would get no work
done and would jeopardize all
movement toward a peace
settlement, the finance minis-
ter told his various audiences.
He said that Labor, there-
fore, wanted a coalition that
included the NRP and pos-
sibly the Aguda, though he
acknowledged that the latter's
extreme demands on religious
matters probably precluded
it from participating in the
new government.
He expressed the view,
nevertheless, that A g u d a
could be counted on to sup-
port the government on for-
eign policy issues even if it
remained in the opposition.
The NRP's younger ele-
ment, represented by Zevu-
lun Hammer and Yehuda
Ben Meir, have warned that
they would not hesitate to
split the party if its leader-
ship backed down on a na-
tional coalition with Likud.
The Union of Orthodox
Rabbis of the United States
and Canada (Agudath Hara-
bonim) called on Mizrachi
ministers in Israel not to
enter the new government
unless the Sabbath law is cor-
rected and expanded and the
Law of Return is amended
so that it will read that only
those who converted in ac-
cordance with halakha will
be recognized as a Jew. If
these demands will not be
met, you are prohibited to
enter the government."

opposition to Premier Meir
forming a new government
which would accede to the
demands of the NRP by
changing the Law of Return,
thus denying the validity of
conversions by non-Orthodox
rabbis anywhere in the world.
The lay and rabbinic arms
of the two branches of Juda-
ism termed the pressure by
the NRP "an irresponsible
exercise of political power
which would be an injustice
to the views of the majority
of Israel's citizens and an
affront to the majority of
Jews living outside the state
of Israel."
They felt that in recog-
nizing only the conversions
of Orthodox Judaism almost
two-thirds of religious Jews
throughout the world will be
"categorized as second-class
citizens."
The statement was issued
by: Central Conference of
American Rabbis (Reform);
Rabbinical Assembly ( C o n -
servative); Union of Ameri-
c a n Hebrew Congregations
(Reform); United Synagogue
of America (Conservative);
World Council of Synagogues
(Conservative); and the
World Union for Progressive
Judaism (Reform).
Demands for the exclusion
of Defense Minister Moshe
Mayan from the next cabinet
were revived in Labor Party
circles.
They were . voiced during
deliberations at the Beth
Berl ideological center near
Kfar Saba. And while they
came from left-leaning 'dov-
ish" elements not considered
representative of the party's
majority views, they were
symptomatic of the growing
rancor within Premier Golda
Meir's Labor alignment as it
sought to form a viable co-
alition government. Dayap's
ouster had been demanded
by the same "dovish" groups
before the Dec. 31 elections.
Shlomo Nakdimon, the
Yediot Ahronot political re-
porter acknowledged to be
the best informed political
writer in the country, re-
ported that Foreign Minister
Abba Eban and former Hista-
drut Secretary General Yitz-
hak Ben Aharon both lashed
out against Dayan at a closed
meeting of the Labor Party
leadership in Tel Aviv.
Deputy Premier Yigal Al-
lon was also reported to be
unhappy with the party and
his position in it and has
hinted to friends and support-
ers that he may decline to
serve in a new government,
particularly if it included his
old political rival Dayan.
The upshot of the Labor
leadership meeting was en-
dorsement of the decision of
Premier Meir and Finance
Minister Pinhas Sapir against
a national coalition govern.
ment that would include
Likud. But even on that is-
sue, the party was not of one
mind.
At the same time, the In-
dependent Liberals joined the
Civil Rights Party headed by
Mrs. Shulamit Aloni to form
a new Knesset bloc of seven
seats. The new combination
pledged to act jointly for
"Peace based on a fair ter-
ritorial compromise with de-
fensible borders."
A secret poll, conducted for
the Labor Party on the ques-
tion "Who is the most popu-
lar candidate for the post of
prime minister in Israel to-
On the other hand, Reform day?" reached the press,
and Conservative groups in which published the results:
the U.S. have voiced strong
Golda Meir has received

39.17 per cent of the votes
of those questioned, a sub-
stantial reduction in compari-
son with the number of votes
she received prior to the Yom
Kippur War.
Yigal Allon received 24.25
per cent; Menahem Begin,
15.51 per cent; Pinhas Sapir,
12.33 per cent; Moshe Dayan,
8.75 per cent.
The Soviet press has inter-
preted the results of the elec-
tions as a proof of wide-
spread war fatigue and dis-
illusionment in Israel.
A Pravda commentary on
the elections concluded that
"the fatigue of the population
from wars and the economic
hardships connected with
them" had p r o m p t e d the
Labor Party setback.
The two daughters of David
Ben-Gurion, Geulah and Rina,
declared that they had no
intention of voting for the
candidates of Ma'arach and
so voted Likud. They were
deeply moved by the fact
that the leaders of Likud
have never failed to honor
the memory of their father at
every election meeting, they
said.
Supreme Court Justice
Haim Cohn, who headed the
central elections committee,
has recommended that the
whole system be drastically
overhauled in future elec-
tions.
He said there was far too

much complicated paperwork cess. Cohn advocated the machine as a much needed
— both in the voting process American-style electric voting I simplification.
itself and in the subsequent
checking and counting pro- 12 Friday, January 18, 1974 THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS



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