JERUSALEM (May. 22)
Premier David Ben Gurion, fighting for Parliamentary approval of the governments adherence to the principles of the Eisenhower Doctrine against opposition of two left-wing coalition partners, decided today to convene the Cabinet in a third extraordinary meeting this week.
Announcement of the Israel Government’s adherence to the doctrine emerged from two earlier special Cabinet meetings yesterday, amid reports of opposition from Mapam and Achdut Avodah. Mapam and Achdut Avodah both voted against the Government statement and a parallel statement issued by the Eisenhower Administration in Washington.
The Premier planned to call a separate meeting of supporters of the doctrine to determine a stand toward the opposition. Mapam and Achdut Avodah also decided to hold strategy meetings in the next 48 hours. The other coalition members thereupon decided to meet to determine party attitudes if any coalition partner voted against the Doctrine in forthcoming Knesset debate. The Premier has repeatedly warned that a departure from “collective responsibility” would breach the Cabinet.
Ben Gurion was reported as feeling very strongly that Israel should back the Eisenhower Doctrine. He was understood to lave argued at the last Mapai political committee meeting that while Israel’s friendship with Western European countries is firm, the maintenance of friendship with the United States is as vital as ever and Israel should do everything possible to foster it.
In a move virtually unprecedented in Israeli political history. Foreign Ministry Golda Meir today asked permission to address closed meetings of the Mapam and Achdut Avodah parties. It is known she has already met with the Achdut Avodah political committee and is slated to confer with the parallel Mapam group in her efforts to convince them of the correctness of the decision to align Israel with the principles of the Eisenhower Doctrine.