JERUSALEM (Aug. 2)
An indication that the joint Mizrachi-Hapoel Hamizrachi bloc of 12 deputies in the Knesset will enter the coalition government which Mapai leaders David Ben Gurion and Premier Moshe Sharett are attempting to form was given here today at the opening of the joint third world Mizrachi-Hapoel Hamizrachi conference.
The hint was provided by Minister for Religion Moshe Shapira, a leader of the Labor Mizrachi movement, who declared that his group has been charged with “running for a coalition.” This, he added, was “not to preserve our seats (in parliament) but to achieve unity in the state and to form a workable government,”
Mr. Shapira stressed that it was a major principle of his party that Israel can not become a secular state “It is impossible to separate the state from religion,” he said, “and although it is impossible to interfere in the private lives of citizens, the public and state life must be religious.”
The meeting, which was preceded by separate conferences of the Mizrachi and the Hapoel Hamizrachi held, respectively, in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv during the past two days, was opened in the presence of Israel President Itzhak Ben Zvi, Premier Sharett, British Chief Rabbi Israel Brodie and more than 200 delegates from Israel and abroad. The delegates are divided almost equally between Mizrachi and Labor Mizrachi members. More than 100 of them are from abroad.