Negotiations Falter for Return of Religious Party to Israel Cabinet

Negotiations between representatives of the Ben Gurion Government and representatives of the National Religious Party for the latter’s return to the Cabinet hit a new snag today. In the last few days it had appeared that the negotiations would be successful; today, however, the possibility of complete failure is not to be excluded.

Mapai sources asserted today that the Ben Gurion forces had agreed to suspend disputed regulations allowing each citizen to specify his own religion without recourse to religious authorities, pending completion of a draft of new regulations. Since the drafting procedure was expected to reach all the way to next summer’s election time, it was believed that the dispute would be held over for settlement by ballot.

The Mapai sources added, however, that the religious representatives suddenly retreated from their earlier position and have now raised new demands concerning education.

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