Knesset Defeats Mizrachi-herut Non-confidence Vote in Government”

The Israel Parliament defeated by a vote of 60 to 38 a motion of non-confidence in the Ben Gurion Government offered jointly by the Opposition Herut and National Religious Parties. The issue under debate was an alleged insult of Sephardic Chief Rabbi Isaac Nissim by Premier David Ben Gurion in the course of an exchange of letters on the regulations dealing with Jewish identification during registration.

During the debate preceding the vote, a religious deputy revealed that the Chief Rabbi had asked that no issue be made of the alleged insult. The deputy, however, insisted that the dignity of the Chief Rabbi’s office would not permit passing the alleged insult without challenge.

In the course of his defense, Mr. Ben Gurion told the House that he had not identified himself with the new regulations for registration of citizens–to which the religious deputies took exception. He urged the religious bloc not to identify itself with Herut, asserting: “Our contact has not yet been severed.”

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