JERUSALEM (May. 21)
The leaders of the Israel Government coalition have some hard work ahead of them if they are to avert a Cabinet crisis, following the decision today of at least one of the two left-wing coalition partners to vote in Parliament against the government’s statement adhering to the Eisenhower Doctrine.
Both the Mapam and the Achdut Avodah voted in the Cabinet this morning against the statement issued by Israel and against approval of the companion declaration released by Washington. But, while the Achdut Avodah’s position does not appear to have been set yet, the Mapam has already decided to vote against the declaration at the conclusion of the foreign policy debate which is currently scheduled to start in Parliament Monday.
The Mapam claims that the terms of the coalition, under which it joined with the Mapai, Progressives and religious bloc in forming the Ben Gurion government, provide for opposition to Israel’s joining any military alliances. Mapam claims that adherence to the Eisenhower program constitutes joining a military pact.
Premier David Ben Gurion, on the other hand, insists on “collective responsibility” of all coalition partners. In the past he has warned that a negative vote by any coalition partner will be interpreted as a break-up of the coalition.