Rabin Hints He Might Reject Key Recommendation of Horev Report

Premier Yitzhak Rabin hinted at yesterday’s Cabinet meeting that he might not support a key recommendation of the Horev committee’s report that calls for abolition of the Absorption Ministry. An initial review of the report was begun at yesterday’s session and the Cabinet is expected to devote future sessions to the issue.

Sources said the government is not likely to reach a final decision for some time. But surprise was expressed in some quarters that the report was on the agenda yesterday since Rabin said last week that it was not a matter of prime urgency. The committee, headed by Amos Horev president of the Haifa Technion, recommended a drastic overhaul of Israel’s immigration and absorption machinery.

Rabin remarked that immigration was the essence of Zionism and, therefore, the government, should not relinquish control of the machinery required to implement it. This was seen as a hint that he did not favor dismantling the Cabinet ministry set up several years ago for the purpose of directing the absorption process.

Absorption Minister Shlomo Rosen of Mapam, a critic of the Horev committee’s recommendations, appeared to be pleased when he left the Cabinet meeting. He stressed that it was too early to predict what the Cabinet’s final position would be but he reiterated his belief that immigration was a matter to be handled by the government. He denied reports that Mapam had threatened a coalition crisis if the Absorption Ministry was abolished.

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