JERUSALEM (Feb. 24)
Premier Yitzhak Rabin and his coalition partners of the Independent Liberal Party were locked in a dispute today over the Premier’s intention to abolish the Ministry of Tourism headed by ILP leader Moshe Kol. Government sources confirmed that this step was under serious consideration, along with the abolition of the Information Ministry whose Minister, Aharon Yariv, resigned from the government last month.
According to the sources, Rabin intends to offer Kol the Communications Ministry which has been vacant since the present government took office. But the ILP has objected strenuously. Kol himself has denied reports that his ministry was about to get the axe. Another ILP spokesman said the Ministry of Tourism must remain a separate Cabinet post and not be combined with other ministries.
The situation with regard to the Information Ministry was different inasmuch as Yariv recommended its abolition in his letter of resignation to Premier Rabin. Rabin is said to have dropped the idea of adding another Labor Party minister to his Cabinet after the man of his choice, Haifa Mayor Yosef Almogi, declined his invitation. That leaves the vacancy that Kol would fill in a Cabinet reshuffle, sources said. According to the sources, the dispute with the ILP is expected to be resolved one way or another within the next few days.