JERUSALEM (Dec. 26)
The possibility of a solution to Israel’s ten-day-old Cabinet crisis, based on an amendment of the present Government’s platform, emerged today from discussions between Prime Minister David Ben Gurion and his coalition partners.
Informed sources said this resolution of the conflict, touched off when the left-wing. Achdut Avoda published details of a secret Cabinet decision to send a special emissary to West Germany in behalf of Israel’s security needs, would probably require formal resignation of the Cabinet Monday. This would be followed by immediate reconstitution for a vote of confidence based on the projected amended platform.
The sources said that the amendments would be of a nature to prevent recurrence of “leaks” of Cabinet meeting actions and to establish coalition party agreement on the substance of the dispute over the purchase of arms from West Germany.
The Achdut Avoda newspaper reported today that Premier Ben Gurion had submitted to the party proposals for amendment of the Cabinet platform and that the party would decide on the proposals before the regular Cabinet meeting next Sunday. The paper said arms must be obtained without servile conditions from any source, “even Germany if they cannot be obtained elsewhere.”
The proposed amendments reportedly would make it possible for a two-thirds Cabinet majority to force the resignation of a Cabinet Minister found guilty of acting contrary to a Cabinet majority decision; would present to the Knesset an amendment to the state secrets law making possible the prosecution of Cabinet Ministers divulging secret decisions of the Cabinet; and would declare that the Government was authorized to obtain arms from any source if no political conditions were attached to such acquisitions.
Menahem Beigin, Herut Party leader, charged tonight that Premier David Ben Gurion had disclosed military secrets when, during the Knesset debate two days ago he disclosed the object of the mission to Germany. The Ben Gurion statement, the rightist leader asserted, invited the Arab states to launch an onslaught against Germany to force Bonn to reject an arms deal with Israel.
Mr. Beigin told a meeting of his party’s national executive that there was no truth to Mr. Ben Gurion’s statement that the weapons Israel sought could only be obtained in Germany. He insisted they could be purchased elsewhere. The Israel Government. Mr. Beigin demanded, must scrap its policy of seeking guarantees and must embark on a policy of concluding pacts–first with France and later with the United States. Such treaties, he held, would provide Israel with far better guarantees than any statements could.