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Israel Parliament Urges Striking Seamen to Return to Work

The Israel Parliament today adopted a resolution calling upon the striking Israeli seamen to cease their month-old strike.

Addressing the Parliament, Premier David Ben Gurion, in his capacity as Acting Minister of Communication, said that the strikers have been “misled by a small group of political saboteurs.” He urged the seamen to return to work and assured them that their rights would be safeguarded. “I am ready to receive their delegation and hear their complaints, if any, “he said, “but the Government will not allow the fist to rule in our state.”

Mr. Ben Gurion made his statement at the conclusion of a stormy debate on the seamen’s strike which started in Parliament yesterday. Communications Minister David Pinkas, who left for the United States today, told the house last night that the strikers were attempting to sabotage Israel’s merchant navy.

The Communications Minister reported that when the strike began, Israel’s merchant marine employed 1,100 seamen, of whom 882 were Israelis and 218 were foreigners. Urging the deputies to condemn the strike and approve the government’s policy in this matter, Minister Pinkas said: “I’d like to see any hands raised here in favor of seamen striking in foreign ports.” He insisted that the seamen’s action was not a strike, but a walk-out.

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