Knesset Votes Confidence in Israel Government; Defeats Motion for Cabinet Resignation
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Knesset Votes Confidence in Israel Government; Defeats Motion for Cabinet Resignation

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A vote of non-confidence on the foreign policy of the Israel Government, proposed by Mapam members in the Knesset, was rejected by a vote of 63-28 last night at a Knesset session which lasted until midnight. Voting against the government were members of the Mapam, Herut, Fighters Party and the Communists.

A motion introduced by the Herut demanding the resignation of the entire Cabinet was defeated by a vote of 63-11, with the Mapam deputies abstaining. The General Zionists cast their ballots both times for the government. However, they demanded that the proclamation of Jerusalem as the eternal and actual capital of Israel be embodied in the Israel Constitution as the first paragraph of that document. Their request was referred to a special parliamentary committee which is now studying the Jerusalem problem.

Replying to speakers who criticized the foreign policy of the government, Premier David Ben Gurion said that “Jerusalem is today Israel’s de facto and de jure capital.” He declared that the decision of the United Nations to place Jerusalem under international trusteeship is no disaster. “The Jewish right to Jerusalem is bigger and stronger than any such decision,” he said. At the same time, he emphasized that Israel, more than anybody else, respects and obeys the United Nations.

Addressing himself to the Christian world, Mr. Ben Gurion declared that the Jewish people will never bow its head before anti-Semitism insofar as it exists in the Christian world, but will always honor its obligations to Christianity by assuring the absolute protection of the Holy Places and unrestricted religious freedom for all religious communities in the Jewish state.

The Israel Premier emphasized that no new law was necessary to proclaim Jerusalem the capital of the Jewish state. This proclamation, he said, was made by King Solomon 3,000 years ago. Only if Israel would change its capital would such a law be necessary, he pointed out.


Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett told the Knesset: “There is no power in the world which can move us out of Jerusalem, because the United Nations has no such power. However, we are not satisfied with this situation. We want the United Nations to approve Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. We do not want any quarrel with the United Nations. We want a peaceful and honorable settlement of the issue.”

Reviewing the attitude of the Israel Government with regard to peace with the Arab countries, Mr. Sharett said: “Our stand with regard to peace with our neighbors is clear. We want peace and are ready for direct negotiations with any of these countries without exception.” He emphasized that Palestine’s borders were not always the same in various periods of history.

Analyzing the political line taken by the Israel Government with regard to its foreign policy, the Foreign Minister said that “Israel’s only political orientation is Israel itself and putting Israel’s interost above any other consideration.” He reviewed the struggle for Jerusalem conducted by the Israel delegation at the United Nations General Assembly last month and concluded by saying that the Jewish state does not want to see the United Nations weak, but that the United Nations must be careful to avoid repetition of failures such as its decision to place Jerusalem under international trusteeship.

Although voting approval of the present foreign policy of the Israel Cabinet, the General Zionist members of the Knesset expressed regret that Mr. Sharett failed to cooperate with American Zionists during the fight at the U.N. against internationationalization of Jerusalem.

The Herut faction introduced a motion for the establishment of a committee to investigate why the Old City of Jerusalem was not captured by Jewish forces during the war with the Arabs. The motion was referred to the Foreign Affairs and Security Committees.

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