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Rabin Offers Shas Deal on Meat

Meat moved back on the front burner as Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin cooked up a plan to keep his government’s majority.

To shore up Rabin’s coalition, on Sunday the Cabinet approved legislation that will give the government a monopoly on Israel’s meat production.

Rabin viewed the measure as a means of bringing the fervently religious Shas party back into the coalition — a step that would significantly strengthen the government’s majority.

The Cabinet had previously sought to privatize the country’s meat production, but the High Court of Justice recently ruled that once the importation of meat was private, an earlier ban on the import of non-kosher meat could no longer stand. By retaining the government monopoly on meat production, the ban on non-kosher meat can be maintained.

Rabin and his Labor party lieutenants are hoping that this measure will persuade the Shas party to return to the coalition fold.

Shas recently withdrew from the coalition after charges of financial misconduct were brought against two of its leaders.

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