Mapam Party Council to Discuss Eshkol’s Invitation to Join Cabinet

The leftist Mapam Party announced today that a decision about accepting Prime Minister Levi Eshkol’s invitation to join the Government coalition would be made on February 21, when the party’s Council is scheduled to meet.

Tension was reported today between Mapai and the National Religious Party which is insisting that its approval of the broadening of the coalition to include Mapam would be conditional on the cancelation of plans by the Zim Israel Navigation. Company to include a non Rosher as well as a kosher kitchen on its new liner, the S.S. Shalom. The Religious Party reiterated that one kitchen; a kosher one, on the S.S. Shalom was its condition for any changes in the present coalition Government.

Religious Party officials said that the deadlock over the kosher kitchen might lead to a coalition crisis since the religious wing in the Cabinet was thinking about quitting the government on the issue. Haim Shapro, Religious Party leader, said that the proposed two kitchen arrangement for the Shalom, which is scheduled to make its maiden voyage in April, was a violation of the religious status agreed to by the present coalition and, unless the agreement was kept, there would be no consent by the party to a broadening of the coalition.

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