JERUSALEM (Feb. 19)
Hebrew University students and Israeli Arabs staged separate demonstrations here today in support of legislation pending in Parliament to drastically modify military government in Arab-populated areas of the country. Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion has warned that he would take the issue to the electorate, posing the possibility of a Government crisis. Five bills will be voted on tomorrow.
The Hebrew University Students Committee for Abolition of Military Government staged a protest march for which they were initially denied permission. Permission was granted after the Supreme Court called on the Jerusalem district representative and the district police commander to justify refusal to permit the demonstration. Several hundred students took up positions in Jerusalem’s main thoroughfare. They carried banners. An accompanying van broadcast anti-military rule slogans.
The Arab Jewish Committee Against Military Government sponsored a protest at the Beit Haluzoth where speakers called for the ending of military rule, calling it undemocratic and harmful to relations between Israel Arabs and Jews
Supporters of the bills lobbied actively among hesitant Knesset members seeking a majority which might result in the fall of the Government. Although some Knesset members openly expressed the view that military rule was no longer necessary, those who are members of coalition parties must stick to the principle of collective responsibility and support the Government on this issue.
The exception is the left-wing Achdut Avodah which has been released from the collective responsibility agreement on this issue. The five bills were submitted by members of the Liberal, Herut, Mapam, Achdut Avoda and Communist parties.