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Knesset Rejects Opposition Non-confidence Motions over Lavon Affair

The Knesset, Israel’s Parliament, today rejected opposition motions of non-confidence in the Government over the recent statement by Agriculture Minister Moshe Dayan with regard to the Lavon affair.

The motions, which were defeated by a vote of 61 to 37 with 11 abstentions, were presented by Herut, the Liberals and the Communists. Herut charged that Mr. Dayan’s statement damaged the security interests of the nation and asserted that the Cabinet as a whole must bear the responsibility.

In the debate on the motions, Prime Minister Levi Eshkol justified Mr. Dayan’s right to correct distorted press reports of his views but he added that Mr. Dayan himself regrets that some of the sentences in his Knesset statement exceeded permissible bounds. The Premier said he shares this regret but reiterated that the Agriculture Minister’s statement neither disclosed security secrets nor disputed the findings of the Ministerial Committee over the affair, which, he said, is closed.