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July 25, 1986 - Image 17

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1986-07-25

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

THE
BIG FIX.

NEWS

Burg Blames 'Rift'
On Ultra-Orthodox

Jerusalem (JTA) — National
Religious Party leader Yosef
Burg lashed out against ultra-
Orthodox Jews last Sunday, ac-
cusing them of "creating a rift in
our people." Burg, who is
Minister of Religious Affairs,
charged that the ultra-Orthodox
"are deepening hatred and are
themselves responsible for ex-
tremism in the non-religious
camp."
His keynote address at the
ceremonial opening of the NRP
convention here, contained prob-
ably the strongest indictment by
an Orthodox political leader of
the zealotry that has resulted in
growing strife between the
religious and secular elements in
Israeli society.

He strongly condemned the
proposal by Interior Minister
Yitzhak Peretz of the ultra-
Orthodox Shas Party to have
the word "convert" stamped on
the identity cards of converts to
Judaism in Israel. "It is an
abominable idea," he said. "We
are living in a period of physical
yerida (the emigration of Jews
from Israel) and social and
human yerida from sanctified
values. This is a period of laxity

in national discipline."
The NRP convention, which
moved to Tall Aviv for its busi-
ness sessions, is deeply divided.
Its Knesset representation was
reduced to four from six in the
last elections and its various fac-
tions are feuding bitterly. One
group obtained a temporary
court injunction barring "sub-
stantive" decisions by the con-
vention pending a judicial hear-
ing. The group charges irreg-
ularities in the election of
delegates.
MK Avner Sciaki, a contender
for party leadership, demanded
that the convention elect a new
leader at once instead of waiting
for a second session next fall.
Burg, who is 75 and has sat in
virtually every Cabinet since the
State was founded, has long
been expected to step down. But
he has yet to submit a formal
letter of resignation.

He told the convention open-
ing that' he was confident a, na-
tional consensus supports the
present unity coalition govern-
ment. But he expressed doubt
that "the political situation
would allow a government like
this one to continue to exist."

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