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Knesset to Debate Whether Israeli Mayors Should Go to Germany

The issue as to whether an Israel municipal official has the right to attend the meeting going on in West Berlin now of the International Union of Municipal Authorities came to the floor of Parliament today. The Knesset voted to hold a general debate on the issue.

Last week, the City Council of Jerusalem forbade Jerusalem Mayor Gershon Agron to attend the conference in Germany. Today, Israel Rokach, a member of Parliament representing the General Zionists, voiced sharp criticism against the Mayor of Petach Tikvah, Pinhas Rashish, who is in West Berlin now attending that conference of municipal authorities.

Mr. Rokach accused Mayor Rashish of “abandoning” his municipal affairs, and of failing to bring the matter before his own City Council for fear he would be ordered not to go to Germany. Mr. Rokach charged the Petach Tikvah Mayor with going to Germany out of “selfish interests.” Mr. Rokach questioned the propriety of any Israelis participating in any conference in Germany. Several other Israeli mayors are attending the Berlin meetings, in addition to Mr. Rashish.

The discussion on Mr. Rokach’s motion was so stormy that, several times, Speaker Mordechai Nir threatened to have the disturbers ejected. The motion to hold a general debate on the issue was finally approved.

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