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Rabbi Maimon Attributes Cabinet Walk-out to Israel Decision to Import Non-kosher Meat

Rabbi Judah Maimon, Minister of Religion whose walking out of a Cabinet session last week precipitated what was described as a grave political crisis, participated today in a meeting of the central committee of the World Mizrachi Organization.

Rabbi Maimon reported that the most important conflict between the Religious Bloc and the majority Mapai party which caused him to stage a walk-out was an announcement by Dr. Dov Joseph, Minister of Supply, that the Israel Government will import non-kosher meat from U.S. surplus stocks because it is “cheaper than kosher meat.” A decisive meeting which will decide the Religious Bloc’s future policy is scheduled to be held later in the evening, with participants including Minister of Immigration Moshe Shapira, who is a ranking leader of religious Jewry here.

Political observers here and in Tel Aviv do not minimize the gravity of Rabbi Maimon’s action, noting that relations between the Mapai and the Religious Bloc had worsened recently, particularly over the issue of education in reception camps for newly-arrived religious immigrants. It was pointed out that the Religious Bloc–which was assigned 20,000 pounds of the 600,000 pounds set aside for education in the immigrant camps–will probably vote against the proposed government budget, which will be debated in parliament tomorrow.

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