No-confidence Motion over Peace Moves Defeated in Knesset

A motion of no confidence in the Government was overwhelmingly defeated in the Knesset (Parliament) today. The motion was submitted by Moshe Tamir of the three-member Free Center faction on grounds that the Government has allegedly agreed to indirect talks with the Arabs and to give up most of the territory occupied in the June, 1967 war. Mr. Tamir argued that such a course could lead to a situation in which Israel would be deprived of the territories and there would still be no peace.

The only Knesset member to vote with the Free Center in favor of the motion was Cohen Tsidon who recently left the Gahal (Herut-Liberal alignment) to form a one-man faction in association with the Free Center. The non-coalition opposition parties including the one-man Hlam Hazeh faction, the two Communist parties and the ultra-Orthodox Agudat Israel, abstained. They said they were not satisfied with the Free Center’s arguments but also opposed the Government policies as a whole.

Deputy Prime Minister Yigal Allon replied to the motion in the absence of Prime Minister Levi Eshkol who is confined with a virus infection. He said the Government has not changed its stand regarding peace talks with the Arabs, which had Cabinet approval and was endorsed by the Knesset. He said that preliminary sounding out of the Arabs through the United Nations emissary, Ambassador Gunnar V. Jarring, was normal diplomatic procedure and implied no change in the Government position.

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