JERUSALEM (Sep. 13)
Likud leader Yitzhak Shamir has promised to approach the opposition Labor Alignment to join in a national unity government, Shamir made that pledge last night after Likud’s coalition partners signed an agreement to support him as the next Prime Minister of Israel.
Four members of Likud’s Liberal Party wing and two independent coalition MKs–Yigael Hurwitz and Mordechai Ben-Parat– conditioned their support for Shamir an serious efforts by him to draw the Laborites into a national government. Shamir said he would make every effort, but that if Labor refused, the present coalition would be reconstituted with no changes whatever in policy or personnel, at least for the time being, Shamir also indicated that he intends to serve as both Premier and Foreign Minister, his current office.
The agreement signed last night opened the way for Premier Menachem Begin to submit his formal letter of resignation to President Chaim Herzog, virtually certain that Herzog would then call on Shamir to form the next government. Begin, who has been confined to his home with a cold for the past few days, has delayed submitting his resignation, announced more than two weeks ago, to give Shamir time to marshal support of the coalition parties.
NO NEW DEMANDS BY AGUDA
Likud negotiators and representatives of the Aguda Israel party insisted that the agreement they reached incorporated no new demands by the Orthodox faction but simply a promise to implement speedily the religious legislation to which the outgoing coalition was pledged.
But some Liberal Party members of Likud have made it clear that they will not support the “Who is a Jew?” amendment to the Law of Return or the severe restrictions on archaeological digs demanded by the Aguda.