JERUSALEM (Jan. 31)
The Knesset, Israel’s Parliament, today postponed for the fifth time a decision on approval of the Government’s plans to accept an offer by the Rothschild Memorial Group to set up an experimental educational television network in Israel.
The postponement followed unsuccessful attempts by Education Minister Abba Eban to secure majority support among coalition and opposition deputies for the measure which won a narrow majority in the Cabinet over the objections of Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion.
The coalition has not yet ruled on requests by Ahdut Avodah and National Religious Party ministers to be released from their responsibility which requires them and other coalition party deputies to support the Cabinet decision in the Knesset.
Liberal deputies conditioned their support of the measure on the prior establishment of an autonomous broadcasting and television authority which would remove those services from direct Government control. While the Government drafted a bill for the establishment of such an authority, its provisions fall short of the guarantees of independence demanded by the Liberal deputies.
The Cabinet is expected to consider the issue again at its regular weekly meeting next Sunday.