Israel Cabinet Formed; Will Be Presented Today to Knesset for Vote
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Israel Cabinet Formed; Will Be Presented Today to Knesset for Vote

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The formation of the new Israel Cabinet was announced here today by Finance Minister Levi Eshkol who for more than 10 weeks conducted the negotiations with the various political parties for the establishment of a coalition government.

The 16-member Cabinet will be presented by Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion to the Israel Parliament tomorrow morning for a vote of confidence. Leaders of the four parties that are partners in the new Cabinet are meeting today for formal ratification of the list of Ministers. The four parties are Mapai, National Religious Party, Achdut Avodah and the Agudah Laborite Party.

Eleven members of the new Cabinet will represent the Mapai Party in the coalition. They are Mr. Ben-Gurion, as Premier; Mrs. Golda Meir, as Foreign Minister; Moshe Dayan, now Minister of Agriculture; Finance Minister Eshkol; Minister of Labor Giora Josephthal; Minister of Education Abba Eban; Minister of Commerce and Industry Pinhas Sapir; Yosef Almogi, secretary-general of the Mapai Party; Dov Joseph, former treasurer of the Jewish Agency; Minister of Police Bechor Shitreet; and one other representative of the Sephardi community, in addition to Mr. Shitreet.

The National Religious Party’s Ministers will be Zorach Warhaftig; Yosef Burg, now Minister of Social. Welfare; and Moshe Shapira, now Minister of the Interior. Achdut Avodah will be represented in the Cabinet by Yitzhak Ben-Aharon, now Minister of Transport and Communications; plus either Israel Bar-Yehuda or Yigal Alon, well-known former high Army officer. The Agudah Laborite Party will have a Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Education, and that post will go to Kalman Kahana.

The door has been left open for Mapam, which was in the outgoing Cabinet, to rejoin the coalition if it wants to do so. Achdut Avodah has succeeded in inserting a clause into the agreement for the formation of the new Cabinet, providing that Mapam is to get back its old portfolios if it rejoins the Government, while the Ministers holding those posts will be considered as having the portfolios on a temporary basis. Mapam had two portfolios in the old Cabinet–Minister of Health Israel Barzilai and Minister of Development Mordechai Bentov.

The National Religious Party obtained agreement that a religious education clause would be adopted. This party had demanded a Sabbath law, which it did not get. Achdut Avodah was given permission, in the coalition government, to abstain on such a law. “Under the present circumstances,” Mr. Eshkol said in announcing the agreement, “it is the best Government we could form. I am happy that I saved Mr. Ben-Gurion the immeasurable trouble and annoyance of the tiring negotiations.”

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