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("AMU I I 1 I 1
The NRP's Yosef Burg briefs the press.
Yahad leader Ezer Weizman inaction at Jerusalem's Mahone Yehuda market.
he did say, "Unfortunately; I have
reason to believe that the unrest in
the economy is a result of politics."
Instead, he concentrated on his
policies, on the Likud's policies,
assuring them that there would be a
better chance of creating a national
unity government if the Likud won
And he talked about Judea and
Samaria, not in terms of a biblical
homeland but in terms of security,
repeating the Likud line ihat the
Alignment will bring PLO guns to
within a few kilometres of Kfar Saba.
At 11 p.m.' he was still talking,
shifting from the economy to the
quality of life to security and back to
"The choice is yours," said the
finance minister, suddenly using the
same tone he used in Hadar Yosef.
"Either you vote for Yitzhak Shamir
or..." and here came the dramatic
pause, to let the name he was about
to utter sink in hoping that it would
stir the audience to some emotion...
But it didn't work. go one stirred.
He stopped talking, and one man
"All my life I've been Herut. All
my life I have considered myself in
the nationalist camp. I came here
tonight, for the first time in my life,
with doubts about the Likud. I came
here hoping to be reassured by you
that you're doing something, that
you can do something.
"But I've listened now, and I think
I speak for many of us when I say
that you haven't reassured me. I am
as confused as I was before. For the
first time in my life I'm considering
voting Alignment, to help give them
a majority so that we can get rid of
these extortionate parties once and
for all. So that once and for all a
government will be able to have a
policy and carry it through. You
haven't reassured me."
NETANYA. — There are no ques-
tions about extreme religious
nationalism, or about Shabbat in
Petah Tikva, or even about why
there should be, as the slogan says,
"no buts about" voting for the
National Religious Party. And Dr.
Yosef Burg, venerable — and in this
crowd of NRP members, venerated
— receives his applause not so much
for his policies as for his wit.
"Why don't you retire," is the first
"There are only difficult answers,
not difficult questions," replies the
minister, smiling, "and in this case
neither the question nor the answer
is difficult. The party needs continui-
ty and change, we were caught unex-
pectedly by the early elections, but I
FORMER chief of staff Rafael
Eitan may have lost about 500 votes
to Rabbi Meir Kahane during an
election early evening in Jerusalem
last week, because the No.2 man on
the Tehiya list couldn't match the
"kill the terrorists, expel the Arabs"
rhetoric of Kach's leader.
If Yossi Sankt had happened to
pass by the park next door to the old
Knesset in downtown Jerusalem, it's
unlikely that the minimal police pre-
sence on the scene could have pro-
tected the left-wing Labour MK.
As it happened, a rumour swept
the Kahane crowd of some 1,500
supporters, converts and onlookers
that Sarid was in the neighbourhood
and hundreds broke from the rally,
scrambling up the embankments of
the park to the street above, looking
for the MK.
That rumour spread moments af-
ter Kahane had prothised that the
only way he'd join a Likud coalition,
would have retired in November
"Besides, you know I speak five
languages. So whenever the govern-
ment needs to send five ministers
abroad they can save money by send-
A great guffaw ripples through the
audience. Burg earns another round
of applause from these mostly young
parents by making the following
crack: "You know the story about
why the man had a clean conscience?
Because he never used it."
The next question concerns the
NRP's problems with the competi-
tion — Morasha, headed by Rabbi
Burg says there are negotiations
with Druckman over a deal for shar-
Rafael Eitan of Tehlya-Tzomet speaks his piece. ,
ing surplus votes— "But don't let that
make you think we believe it's all
right for Rabbi Druckman to go
separately. The NRP has to he
"What worries me is that Labour
might be able to make a coalition
without a religious party."
In the audience, there are whis-
pers, murmurs, and clucking of ton-
gues at the prospect of a government
"without the religious."
Most worrying to the voters in the
hall is what will happen to the
Education Ministry, held since 1977
by Zevulun Hammer — once Burg's
challenger, now his main supporter
in a party riven by splits and rival-
Otie man suggests that Burg, "in
all your wisdom" take over the
."I didn't come here to take away
Zevulun's job," says Burg, using his
colleagues first name, to the delight
of the crowd.
"But let me tell you a story about
portfolios," says the minister who
has been in every Knesset since the
first. "Many years ago a leading •
Mapai minister (it was called Mapai,
then) came to me and said 'Yosef,
take off your kippa and you can be
education minister.' And I said to
him, 'I didn't take off my kippa for
Hitler, I surely won't for you. '
That gets him his biggest round of
In Petah Tikva later in the week,
citizens who wished to see Shinui
if elected to the Knesset, would be if
members of the Jewish terror net-
work were given amnesty.
That promise, and his call , for
"death to the terrorists, expel the
Arabs" were the big applause win-
The Kahane rally came on the
heels of a Tehiya assembly at which
Eitan, dressed in jeans and wearing
his usual paratroop-wing belt buck-
le, read a statement calling for "an
economy suitable to the national
needs and priorities of our society."
Raful's only applause came when he
called for giving the vote and other
civil rights "only to' those who have
done national service."
Kahane appeared to impress a
crowd of leftover Tehiya suppor-
ters. Kahane supporters and 'shop-
Knesset Member Amnon
Rubinstein during his election cam-
paign- visit had to brave a virtual
verbal gauntlet of ye llow-shirted
pers on their way home.
In heavily right-wing Jerusalem,
Kach Movement supporters.
where in 1981 the Labour Party
With a ready smile and a hand-
barely managed 30 per cent of the
shake for those who could reach him
vote, . Labour's sidewalk booth did
with an encouraging word, the Shi-
the moss business. But many of lie
nui leader made his way through a
people approaching the booth stack-
crowd that hurled epithets, curses
ed with printed literature had only
curses for the former paratrooper - and promises to "wipe out the lef-
who manned the stand, "PLO-nik,
The 10 hysterical Kahane youths
Traitor. Murderer," were just some
were joined in their chanting and
of the epithets thrown at the reserve
cuirsing by about 30 others•who wore
soldier who patiently agreed with
Tehiya or Likud buttons and T-
everything he heard, saying later
shirts. Observers feared that vio-
that "it won't do any goOd to argue
lence would break out at any mo-
with them, anyway." •
ment during Rubinstein's half-hour
But he added that many people . visit on the street.'No violence did
approached the stand to say that
ensue, but the MK was-prevented
they had voted Likud in the past'and
had decided to vote Labour this. • from giving a prepared speech.