JERUSALEM (Jan. 15)
The Israel Parliament today rejected a Herut motion of non-confidence in the coalition government headed by David Ben Gurion. The vote which upheld Premier Ben Gurion’s policy of evacuation of Egyptian territory in accordance with a United Nations resolution was 63 to 11, with eight abstentions. Only the Herut deputies voted for the motion, while the General Zionists abstained and even the Communists also in the opposition, voted with the government.
Urging the House to reject the Herut motion, Mr. Ben Gurion insisted that the Sinai campaign had attained its aims. We will stand firm on those,” he added, chiding the right-wing opposition for making the government’s task more difficult by “irresponsible and purposeless” actions, He questioned the Herut’s insistence that Israel’s security would be endangered unless Israeli forces held the El Arish-Abu Ageila-Kusseima line in the Sinai”
Menahem Beigin leader of the right-wing Herut, warned that if the enemy is allowed to return to the entire Sinai Peninsula, they will launch new attacks on the Jewish State. He accused the Cabinet of abandoning safeguards of the country’s security and urged it not to retreat any farther. He declared that the presence of UN forces on the two islands in the Tiran Strait would not be sufficient guarantee of freedom of shipping in the Gulf of Akaba because Israeli shipping heading for Elath could be intercepted from any point on Sina is east coast by big guns.
Israel Rokach, leading member of the centrist General Zionist Party, which is also in the opposition, said his party was abstaining on the understanding that the government does not intend to abandon the islands in the Tiran Strait nor the Gaza Strip. Esther Wilenska. speaking for the Communist deputies, said that although her group voted against the Herut motion, it nevertheless want Mr. Ben Gurion to step down from the helm of the government.