JERUSALEM (Nov. 12)
The Knesset defeated yesterday by a 25-13 vote a motion by Agudath Israel for debate on the scheduling of the international automobile race at Ashkelon for this Saturday. Agudath Israel contended the race would constitute an intolerable desecration of the Sabbath and would inflame Sabbath observers. Shimon Peres, Minister of Transport and Communications, said in reply that while he was not enthusiastic about the scheduling, it was within the bounds of the law and should not be interfered with. The race is being arranged by a private firm but with the full consent of the municipality of Ashkelon, on the Mediterranean just northeast of the Gaza Strip. The firm and the city signed a contract 10 months ago. The three religious parties–Agudath Israel, Poale Agudath Israel and the National Religious Party–voted for the motion; the other parties voted against it, except for Gahal, which split its vote.