JERUSALEM (Jan. 5)
Yosef Burg, leader of the National Religious Party who has held office in almost every Israeli government since the State was founded, has notified the NRP that he will resign his Cabinet post next June 30. Burg, 75, is presently Minister of Religious Affairs in the Labor-Likud unity coalition government.
His announcement was contained in a letter to the NRP’s internal elections committee. Burg’s resignation has been expected and he was, in fact, reported ready to quit in November. The NRP, which has served in both Labor and Likud-led coalitions, suffered severe setbacks in recent elections.
It holds only two seats in the present Knesset and Burg was forced to relinquish the senior Cabinet post of Interior Minister to Rabbi Yitzhak Peretz of Shas, a new religious party. Burg says the central issue to which he will devote himself is rebuilding the Mizrachi movement in Israel.