Cabinet Crisis in Israel Continues; Weizmann to Start Consultations with All Parties

Minister of Justice Pinhas Rosen reported to President Chaim Weizmann this morning that his efforts to constitute a new government had failed and that he was returning his Mandate. Dr. Weizmann thanked Dr. Rosen for his efforts to bridge the divergencies between the parties which had brought on Israel’s Cabinet crisis. The President will receive leaders of the various political parties during the next few days for further consultations on the situation.

Members of the Mapai’s Political Committee and Parliamentary group met in a four-hour session last night to consider the situation. A spokesman for the group disclosed later that the meeting had adopted a final position on the Cabinet crisis reaffirming the coalition’s program of March, 1949, as well as the recent decisions on economic policy announced to the Knesset, and stating that unless a stable government was established on this basis by early next week, the Mapai will urge new elections to the Knesset at the earliest possible date. In Jerusalem, this was interpreted as an ultimatum to the Religious Bloc to return to the government by Sunday.

The labor spokesman said that the Mapai considers that the government is bound to safeguard full equality of rights and freedom of conscience for all citizens and to prevent any discrimination or coercion in economic, cultural or religious matters from whatever quarter.

He said it was agreed that the ruling adopted by the provisional government regulating the import of meat should continue in force. This provides for the import of meat to be handled jointly by the Ministers concerned with food supply and religious affaire, with the understanding that any differences between them be brought before the Cabinet for final adjudication.

MIZRACHI LABORITE LEADER SAYS ELECTIONS ARE UNAVOIDABLE

On other questions in connection with the inter-party negotiations, the spokesman said, it is pointed out that any minister is free to raise in a Cabinet meeting any question of policy which falls within the accepted coalition program.

Meanwhile, Moshe Shapira, Hapoel Hamizrachi leader and Minister of Immigration in the dissolved Cabinet, today told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that, in view of the decision of the Mapai last night to insist on a stable government on the basis of the program adopted when the coalition was first formed, “there is no way out of the situation but elections.”

One well-informed source, who described the religious demands being raised as extraneous to the present issue and irrelevant to the present crisis arising from proposals for reconstruction of the Cabinet, said that the Mapai’s proposal to reinstitute the Provisional Government’s procadure for handling meat imports was a concession in the interests of unity. It would, he said, virtually guarantee the import of kosher meat as a rule.

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