Last Minute News Israel Cabinet Crisis Resolved; Weizmann to Ask Ben Gurion to Form New Cabinet

The first Cabinet crisis in Israel–which began two weeks ago today with the resignation of Premier David Ben Gurion and his coalition Cabinet–was resolved today. A joint statement from the Mapai and Religious Bloc parties was scheduled to be issued tonight, at which time President Chaim Weizmann will entrust Mr. Ben Gurion with the formation of a new, 13-member Cabinet.

Spokesmen for the Mapam and Herut parties–the extreme left and extreme right, respectively–told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that although they will cast a vote of non-confidence in the new coalition, they conceded that the new body “commands a comfortable majority” in the parliament.

Meanwhile, Religious Bloc leaders Rabbi I.M. Lewin and Moshe Shapiro–Ministers for Social Welfare and Immigration, respectively, in the defunct Cabinet–informed the J.T.A. that “since the Mapai has yielded to the Religious Bloc’s demands,” leaders of the Orthodox community decided that the Religious Bloc Ministers should return to the Cabinet. The Orthodox Bloc stressed, however, that “no coercion will be exercised on new immigrants so they may choose their own way of life.”

The new Cabinet will include Jack Gering, financial expert from South Africa, and Pinhas Lubianiker, secretary-general of the Histadrut. Zalman Shazar, who served as Minister of Education, will be appointed Ambassador to Moscow, succeeding Mordecai Namir (see P.5). Mr. Gering will become Minister of Trade and will also be responsible for sections of the dissolved Supply Ministry: David Remez, who was Minister of Communications, will assume the Education portfolio, while Dr. Dov Joseph, former Supply Minister, will replace Mr. Remez. Mr. Lubianiker will be named Minister of Production.

Earlier, a statement issued by the Mizrachi said that it will not join a renewed coalition Cabinet and will refrain from voting for a coalition, because it believed that it is not capable of bettering Israel’s economic situation. At the same time, the Mizrachi statement pledged the organization’s remaining in the Religious Bloc.

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