Israel Cabinet to Act on Grievances Presented by Arab Deputies

An assurance that a “new policy” toward Israel’s Arabs will be considered by the Cabinet was given today to six Mapai-affiliated Arab members of the Knesset by Giora Josephthal, Mapai secretary, at a meeting dealing with Arab grievances.

Among the main requests voiced at the meeting was a renewal and an easing of the qualifications for the “reunion of families” program under which thousands of Arabs from neighboring countries were permitted to join relatives living in Israel from 1949 to 1953. The Arab members of the Israel Parliament also asked an easing of travel restrictions into and from the Arab-populated military government areas along the borders.

The Arab deputies reportedly warned the Mapai leader that continuation of the grievances of the Arab minority might cost the Mapai party most of the Arab votes in future elections. It was decided during the meeting that a special committee headed by Mordecai Namir, Labor Minister, would prepare outlines for a new policy to remedy such grievances for presentation to a meeting of the Cabinet soon.

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