JERUSALEM (Jun. 14)
An unexpected opposition victory in the Knesset this week because a majority of the coalition MKs were absent has prompted the Likud Knesset faction leadership to ask Premier Menachem Begin for an urgent meeting to discuss the enforcement of party discipline.
Likud’s embarrassment was occasioned by an agenda motion presented by Labor Alignment MK Adiel Amorai to debate a costly advertising campaign initiated by the Finance Ministry aimed at fighting inflation. Poor attendance by Likud and the absence of all but one of the 12 National Religious Party MKs, gave the opposition a majority and the motion was carried. One coalition member of the Democratic Movement voted with the opposition.
The ad campaign, for which a large Tel Aviv advertising agency was engaged, raised many eyebrows even within Likud. It culminated with full page “Fight Inflation” ads in most of the country’s leading newspapers, calling on the public to cut down on private consumption. Originally, it was expected that the IL 30 million cost of the campaign would be shared by the Treasury and the Bank of Israel. The bank has now expressed reservations over the project.