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Knesset Rejects Non-confidence Vote on Issue of 7-day-a-week Television

The Knesset rejected today, by a vote of 69 to three, with 19 abstentions, a motion of non-confidence in the Government presented by the Agudat Israel Party on the issue of the Cabinet decision to permit television broadcasting seven days a week, including the Sabbath. Among the abstentions were the members of the National Religious Party and the Agudat Israel Workers Party, which are partners in the national coalition.

Speaking for the resolution, Moshe Unna of the National Religious Party charged that the decision to begin TV broadcasting on the Sabbath was an unnecessary affront to Orthodox Jews. Rabbi Kalman Cahane of the Agudat Israel Workers Party said that he opposed television in general. He said that it was only because of their consciousness of national responsibility in these times that the two parties would not vote against the Government but would abstain.

Speaking in reply, Premier Golda Meir said that every member of the Cabinet respected religion. She stressed that there was no difference between television on the Sabbath and radio on the Sabbath and the religious parties were in the coalition despite their disapproval of this on principle. The State radio broadcasts every day except Yom Kippur.

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