Israeli Parliament Discusses Cabinet’s Program; Vote of Confidence Expected
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Israeli Parliament Discusses Cabinet’s Program; Vote of Confidence Expected

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A vote of confidence in the new Israeli Cabinet and in its program presented yesterday by Premier David Ben Gurion was considered a certainty here today as the general debate in the Knesseth continued.

Opening the debate last night, Meir Yaari, leader of the Mapam, the left-wing minority group, accused the Mapai, the majority right-wing labor faction, of proposing “impossible conditions” governing participation by Mapam in the coalition government. He asserted that the Mapai had allocated the most important Cabinet posts to the parties within the majority, and as evidence he pointed to the fact that the Ministry of the Interior had been allocated to the religious bloc. He added that the Mapam would be ready to join the present coalition if guarantees were laid down for common program based on socialist principles. Until that time, he said, the Mapai would combat the policies of the government and watch its actions closely.

Dr. Zorach Warhaftig, of the Hapoel Hamizrachi, a labor wing of the Religious Bloc, explained his party’s support of the coalition regime. But he criticized Premier David Ben Gurion for not including in his program legislation to cover the observance of the dietary laws in the private lives of Israeli citizens.

Menachem Beigin speaking on behalf of the Heruth Party, the former Irgun Evai Leumi, severely criticized the allocation of the various ministries, and said that this allocation had teen guided by a desire to please certain individuals and ad not been done “in a national way.” He severely assailed the government’s foreign policy and what he described as its orientation toward the United Nations, and pointed out that the Conciliation Commission had just invited Haj Amin el Husseini, the exiled Mufti of Jerusalem, to appear before it. He also attacked the government for its failure to submit to the Knesseth for approval the armistice agreement reached with Egypt at the recent Rhodes negotiations.


Joseph Saphir, speaking for the General Zionists, said that It was regrettable that the party representing the greatest part of the viticulture industry was not represented in the present Cabinets He added that his group was agreed upon the Cabinet’s foreign-policy declaration, but he deplored that the government–as had been previously demonstrated by the provisional government, he charged–would give preference to class interests.

Rabbi I.M. Levin, speaking for the Agudah Israel, a part of the Religious Bloc, said that his party had decided to Join the Cabinet because of agreement over its foreign policy and also because It had received certain assurances for observance of the Sabbath and for the observance also of the Kasruth. He demanded, however, that Jewish jurisprudence generally be based upon the Torah.

Rabbi Mordecai Nurok, of the Mizrachi, another faction of the Religious Bloc, expressed support for the cabinet and asked for the safeguarding of religious education. Tewfik Tubi, the Arab leader, urged that Israel should extend assistance to those Arabs who “fought against reaction” and remained behind Instead of fleeing to Trans Jordan and elsewhere.

Samuel Mikunis. Communist Party leader gave praise to what he described as the help received- front Russia and bitterly attacked the imperialism of the western powers, which, he said, were working against Israel. Mikunis charged that Premier David Ben Gurion was “selling out to imperialism.” Accordingly, he explained, the Communist Party would vote against the Cabinet.

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