JERUSALEM (Jul. 26)
Gahal accepted today the challenge made by Arye Sharon and decided to act for the establishment of a counter-alignment to the Labor-Mapam alignment. The Gahal executive accepted a proposal made by its party chiefs. Knesset members Menahem Beigin and Dr. Elimelech Rimal to “regard with favor” Sharon’s initiative. Sharon issued a statement two weeks ago, when he left the army, calling for the establishment of such a counter-alignment.
The decision today did not mention specifically any other parties by name. It merely stated that Gahal was willing to make contacts with other parties and public organizations to create such a new political body. However, it was clear that the potential partners were the Independent Liberals headed by Tourism Minister Moshe Kol; the Free Center, a splinter party of Herut headed by Knesseter Shmuel Tamir; and the State List.
While the two smaller parties reacted enthusiastically to the Gahal initiative, Kol reacted coolly, saying he did not see a common basis with Gahal on foreign policy. He said the fact that Gahal makes good its relations with the Free Center did not mean the Independent Liberals could accept Gahal’s extreme stand on foreign policy which, according to Kol, did not bring peace any closer. However, Kol added his party would consider the new Gahal initiative.
Ezer Weizman welcomed the plan enthusiastically. “I waited for this moment for three years,” he said, adding, if such a body would be erected he would return to political activity.