TEL AVIV (Jun. 9)
Likud flatly rejected today four of the guidelines proposed by the Democratic Movement for Change (DMC) as the basis for its joining a Likud-led coalition government. The two parties will resume their negotiations next week after Likud leader Menachem Begin returns from Geneva where he will attend the wedding of a son of Nissim Ga’on, president of the World Sephardi Federation. They agreed to set up a joint committee to work out a draft on the basis of what has been agreed to so far.
DMC leader Prof. Yigael Yadin expressed cautious optimism after today’s talks that an agreement may yet be reached with Likud. But DMC circles appear to be disappointed by the slow progress. Likud refused to accept the DMC’s proposals on readiness for territorial compromises, the right to veto the establishment of Jewish settlements in the administered territories and the question of applying Israeli law to the territories.
Likud also objected to the DMC’s use of the term “State of Jews” in its guidelines on grounds that this would mean limiting the area of the Jewish State to those areas where Jews are in a majority. It regards the term as another way of indicating readiness for territorial compromise. Likud insists on the term Jewish State.
Begin had a more fruitful meeting today with representatives of the National Religious Party (NRP) with which Likud has few differences. A six-member Likud-NRP committee was named to draft a coalition agreement. Begin and NRP leader Yosef Burg expressed satisfaction over the decision by the Aguda Israel’s Council of Sages this morning permitting the ultra-Orthodox faction to enter a parliamentary coalition with Likud. The Aguda was thus given a green light by its rabbis to cooperate with a Likud government in the Knesset. But they ruled out participation in the Cabinet either as ministers or deputy ministers.