Israel Parties Meet on Cabinet Crisis; Religious Bloc Wants Ben Gurion As Premier
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Israel Parties Meet on Cabinet Crisis; Religious Bloc Wants Ben Gurion As Premier

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Urgent meetings were held today in Tel Aviv by leaders of all political parties in connection with the Cabinet crisis which President Chaim Weizmann is trying to resolve in the speediest possible way.

An official announcement today said that President Weizmann charged Dr. Pinhas Rosen, Minister of Justice in the defunct Cabinet, with the formation of a new government. Dr. Rosen, who is a member of the Progressive Party, asked the President to gove him until Sunday to investigate the possibilities of bringing the various parties to agreement on the composition of the Cabinet.

Dr. Rosen expects to confer with David Ben Gurion and with the leaders of other parties today and tomorrow. Leaders of the Religious Bloc met this afternoon to consider conditions under which they would join the new Cabinet.

Authoritative Orthodox circles today declared that the Religious Bloc will join a new Cabinet only if it is headed by David Ben Gurion as Premier. Dr. Rosen today invited Moshe Shapiro, leader of the Orthodox Laborites, for a conference, but the opinion prevailing here is that Dr. Rosen’s attempt to form a new Cabinet has little chance of success. The General Zionists announced today that they have decided not to participate in a “caretaker Cabinet.”

The general consensus is that the only viable solution would be to maintain the former coalition until after the new elections. President Weizmann today met several leaders of the Mapai, Israel Labor Party, with whom he discussed the possibility of their party’s participation in the new Cabinet. Observers express the belief that Mr. Ben Qurion is determined to definitely relinquish the Premiership in order to have a free hand in the forthcoming national elections.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Eliezer Kaplan left today by plane for the United States to attend the National Planning Conference for Israel and Jewish Rehabilitation which will open in Washington October 27. The conference will also be attended by Golda Myerson, Labor Minister, who will fly to the United States during the week-end.

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