JERUSALEM (Oct. 12)
Pressure is mounting in the new Cabinet to dump finance Minister Yoram Aridor. But Premier Yitzhak Shamir has no intention of changing the personnel of his government at this time, sources close to Shamir said. They did not rule out changes at some later date “after the stability of the coalition is assured.”
Aridor’s policies are widely blamed for the current economic crisis and there is rising feeling among the Herut leadership that his replacement is a political “must.”
But media reports that senior members of Herut were negotiating with former Defense Minister Ezer Weizman to return to government brought an angry outcry from the coalition’s far-right which has an aversion to Weizman because of his role in negotiating the Camp David accords and the peace treaty with Egypt.
According to the reports, some senior Herut leaders envision Weizman taking over as Finance Minister while Aridor would be named Foreign Minister, the portfolio presently retained by Shamir. None of the parties concerned have confirmed these reports but Weizman was said to have told friends that if Shamir invited him to participate in an “office of national mission” he would not refuse.
Spokesmen for the ultra-nationalist Tehiya party reacted with threats to quit the Likud coalition if Weizman is brought into the Cabinet. They accused the former defense chief of yielding concessions to the late President Anwar Sadat of Egypt — the return of Sinai — and suggested that he was just as likely to make concessions to King Hussein of Jordan on the West Bank. Another rightwing MK, Haim Druckman, a one-man faction, said he would also oppose the entry of Weizman into the new government.