TEL AVIV (Mar. 5)
The National Religious Party’s newly elected central committee has been delegated the powers of a national convention in order to take further action on two controversial resolutions adopted at the closing session of the NRP convention here last week. The 500-member body is scheduled to meet March 26.
It is already under severe pressure to rescind a resolution adopted by a substantial majority of the NRP delegates advocating compulsory military service for hitherto exempt yeshiva students. Despite a surprising 298-170 vote in favor of the measure, it was swiftly denounced by Israel’s two Chief Rabbis. Sources close to the NRP believe the central committee will withdraw the resolution or alter it drastically.
The NRP central committee will also have to deal with another controversial resolution left unsettled by the convention. This one, adopted 278-168, would prohibit the NRP from joining any coalition government that did not amend the Law of Return by stipulating that conversions to Judaism must be in accordance with halacha. The convention decided to let the central committee uphold or discard the measure.
The Cambodian government has asked the Israeli water planning company Tahal to extend its contract for another year on an irrigation project in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh. The contract expires in April. Israeli experts have been working in Cambodia for the past two years. They were the only foreign experts who continued to work outside the capital during the fighting with Communist guerrillas and thereby earned the respect and appreciation of Cambodian authorities.
The American Medical Association, holding a conference in Tel Aviv, was urged to do its utmost to influence Soviet authorities to allow Russian Jews to emigrate unhindered. The appeal was made by Prof. Yuval Neeman, president of Tel Aviv University, who heads the Israeli Academic Council for Jewish Scientists in the Soviet Union.