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Israel Cabinet Crisis Nearing End; Compromise Talks Due Today

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The crisis in the Israel Cabinet, resulting from the resignation of four General Zionist members from the government, is expected to be settled within a few days. Premier David Ben Gurion is meeting tomorrow with the General Zionists, and the press today predicts that the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday will be attended by the Ministers who resigned.

It was indicated that the Premier will suggest that the regulations concerning the national flag and the anthem should be included in the government platform, thereby avoiding any party intervention in the future. It is assumed that the General Zionists would agree to return to the Cabinet if a definite date is set for a discussion in Parliament on the flag-and-anthem issue. However, it is understood that the General Zionists would condition such agreement on the promise that if Parliament does not pass the recommendations regarding the flag as the government’s basic platform, the entire Cabinet would resign.

The executive council of Mapai, Israel’s Labor Party, is expected to meet today and to approve a suggestion to postpone any action on the flag-and-anthem issue for a definite period. The four General Zionist Ministers resigned from the Cabinet last week when a Mapai majority voted to permit the display of the Socialist red flag and the singing of the “Internationals” on trade union holidays in schools where a majority of parents desired it, in addition to the Israel flag and the Israel national anthem.

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