Ben Gurion Discusses Mizrachi Participation in Israel Cabinet

Premier David Ben Gurion today had a “personal” talk with Rabbi Mordecai Nurock, Mizrachi leader, on the Mizrachi’s participation in the Cabinet and on the appointment of a successor to David Zvi Pinkas, the late Mizrachi Minister of Communications.

During the discussion, Mr. Ben Gurion said that the religious party is not entitled to a ministerial post on the basis of size–it has only two deputies in the Knesset–but that it is desirable to give the party a seat on the Cabinet because of its past contributions to the Zionist movement and the state. He also hinted that he would prefer that the Mizrachi Minister be Dr. Nurock, but this must be decided by the Mizrachi central committee.

The Mizrachi organization has asked for the Ministry of Communications to restore the status quo which existed before Pinkas’ death, but there seems to be little likelihood of this. The Mizrachi refuses to accept the Welfare Ministry because it wants to leave the door open for the return of the Agudah parties, which held that post before walking out of the Cabinet. The only other post of interest for the Mizrachi is the Ministry of Religion, but that is held by Poale Mizrachi leader Moshe Shapiro, who is unlikely to surrender it.

Meanwhile, the Premier is scheduled to meet with Progressive Party leaders tomorrow. The party’s political committee will decide whether or not to join the Cabinet after hearing a report Wednesday of the results of the meeting tomorrow between Ben Gurion and its leaders.

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