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Knesset Defeats Motion to Debate Ben-gurion’s Threatened Resignation

Efforts on the part of the General Zionists and Herut–the two parties which are not represented in the Israel Cabinet–to bring up the threatened resignation of Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion for a discussion in the Knesset, Israel’s Parliament, failed today when motions to this effect, introduced by leaders of the two parties were defeated.

The first of the two motions was introduced by Peretz Bernstein, leader of the General Zionists. It requested that the Parliament start a debate on what Mr. Bernstein called “reports of interrupted work of the Government. ” He told the Parliament that the “hanging resignations” of the Prime Minister, as well as of two other Mapai members of the Cabinet, is of concern not only to the Mapai party but to the people of Israel.

Mr. Bernstein insisted that the entire coalition Government should resign now as a result of the Cabinet crisis involving Mapai Ministers. Skirting around the main issue, Levi Eshkol, in his capacity as Deputy Premier, told the Knesset that Mr. Ben-Gurion took a vacation with the approval of the Cabinet. A majority of the Knesset then voted, as Mr. Eshkol demanded, to remove the Bernstein motion from the agenda.

Following that tiff, Herut introduced a motion calling for Knesset debate on a statement made last week by General Moshe Dayan, former chief of staff of Israel’s defense forces, who had charged that Lavon “distorted” facts when he testified before the Parliamentary Committee on Security and Foreign Affairs. Replying to the Herut motion, Mr. Eshkol told the Knesset that Dayan’s evidence was submitted today to a committee named by the Cabinet, making Knesset debate unnecessary. The Herut motion, then, was also defeated.

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