JERUSALEM (May. 15)
The ultra-Orthodox Aguda Israel opened its fifth convention here last night with a rousing ovation for Premier Menachem Begin who was guest of honor and warm applause as well for Interior Minister Yosef Burg who denounced those who demand territorial concessions from Israel. Burg also proposed that the two Aguda parties which have five Knesset members, form a common front with his National Religious Party that holds 12 Knesset seats. The Aguda is a member of Begin’s Likud-led coalition but unlike the NRP is not represented in the Cabinet.
Burg devoted most of his speech to a condemnation of Israel’s "friends" abroad whose "simple and cruel" proposals would leave Israel without "breathing space." He attacked the U.S. for allegedly encouraging President Anwar Sadat of Egypt to harden his position and blamed the Peace Now movement, which he called a "vocal minority," for influencing Washington’s policy. Begin extolled the contributions of the "faithful Jews" to the power of Israel, who, he said were never deterred by difficulties. The 900 delegates gave the Premier a longer and louder reception than they did their own Aguda leaders.