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November 11, 1988 - Image 28

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-11-11

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

I ISRAEL UPDATE

THE HANUKKAH SALE YOU CANT HOLD
A CANDLE TO.

New Knesseters Young,
Sephardi, Orthodox

Jerusalem (JTA) If there
is one thing that the 15
Israeli political parties
elected to the Knesset last
week have in common, it is
that nearly all of them are
sending new faces to sit in the
120-member legislative body.
Mostly young, predomi-
nantly Sephardic and new to
politics are the words that
describe most of the 18
members of the ultra-
Orthodox parties who were
elected to the 12th Knesset
last week.
The far right-wing Tsomet
and Moledet parties and the
leftist Mapam also will be
sending new faces to the
Knesset though their accent
on youth is not so
pronounced.
The ultra-Orthodox made a
strong showing on Election
Day, with candidates chosen
for their religious
backgrounds, rather than-
political experience.
Four of the six men the
Shas party will send to the
Knesset are newcomers. After
incumbents Yitzhak Peretz
and Rafael Pinhassi, No. 3 on
its list is Rabbi Yosef Arzan,
47, who has been Sephardic
chief rabbi of Rishon le-Zion
for the last 12 years. He also
heads a rabbinical court in
Paris and an educational in-
stitution in Strasbourg,
France.
Azran is a graduate of a
yeshivah in Tangier, Morocco.
He also studied in London
and at the Ponevetz yeshivah
in B'nei B'rak,

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28

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 1988

Fourth on the Shas list and
its only member of Yemenite
ancestry is Israeli-born Rab-
bi Arieh Gamliel, 37. He hads
a yeshivah in the Negev
development town of Sderot
and was said to have been
reluctant to enter the
Knesset race.
Shas' No. 5 man is Yair
Levi, 36, who was active
behind the scenes until now
as the party's director general
and an administrator of
Sephardic institutions.
Rabbi Shlomo Dayan, sixth
on the Shas list, is Moroccan-
born and represents the par-
ty on the Jerusalem City
Council.
The Agudat Yisrael party,
which won five Knesset seats,
is now headed by Rabbi
Moshe Zeev Feldman, 58, an
Austrian-born member of the
Gur Chasidic movement and
director of the Imrei Emet
yeshivah in B'nei B'rak. He
will take the Agudah seat
held by Avraham Shapira in
the outgoing Knesset.
Feldman is described as a
"Ibrah scholar but not a
politician." He is known to be
extremely hostile to Schach,
who broke with the Agudah
to form the new Degel
HaTorah party.
Degel's No. 1 man is Rabbi
Avraham Ravitz, 54, a father
of 12. He heads the Or
Sameach yeshivah in
Jerusalem, a school for people
newly turned to religion. The
other Degel seat is going to
Rafael Moshe Gafni, another
newcomer.

[visAl

p

ressure is mounting
on Prime Minister
Yitzhak Shamir and
other Likud leaders to enter
into another "national unity"
government with the Labor
Party even though Likud
almost certainly could form a
more narrow coalition with
the smaller rightwing na-
tionalist and ultra-Orthodox
parties.
Labor, too, is coming under
intensive pressure to make a
deal with Likud.
In the end, another partner-
ship between the two big par-
ties in the Knesset may pro-
ve to be politically illusive.
But here are some reasons
why the notion is gaining
ground among many heavy-

weights in both parties.
The future of the Israeli
economy is the most impor-
tant factor. The last four years
of the Labor-Likud alliance
have seen much bickering
over how to revive peace
negotiations with the Arabs.
But the two-headed govern-
ment was able to push
through important economic
reforms, budget cuts and
austerity measures, leading
to some dramatic success.
Inflation in Israel, running
at 400 percent four years ago,
was down to only 15 percent
last year. This year it is run-
ning at about the same level
— still high by U.S. standards,
but nothing compared to
what it had been.
Balance of payments is in
better shape; foreign curren-
cy reserves are at healthy
levels.

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