Calls Mounted for Unity Government
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Calls Mounted for Unity Government

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A faction within Premier Yitzhak Rabin’s Labor Party is urging him to establish a national unity government with Likud without delay. The group, known as “Etgar” (Challenge) is composed mainly of former army officers, many of whom held senior posts. At a meeting here Sunday night it decided to approach Rabin with a request that he invite Likud to join his coalition. They want him to act before the arrival of Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger. who is expected in Jerusalem Thursday, in order to present a broadly based government representing the entire electorate.

“Etgar’s” chairman, Joseph Nevo, the Mayor of Herzliya and a colonel in the reserves, argued that Likud would be joining the government on the basis of the existing guidelines. He said the opposition party would adhere to the basic position of the Rabin government which is to explore every chance of a political settlement with Israel’s neighbors.

Nevo was sharply rebuked by Labor Party Secretary General Meir Zarmi who was guest speaker at the “Etgar” meeting. Zarmi objected to the fact that Nevo had sent a telegram to Rabin on his own Initiative urging him to bring Likud into the government. He said that at a time when the government needs all the support it can get, Nevo’s proposal weakened it. Nevo replied that the situation after the Arab-summit meeting in Rabat “changed everything.” He contended that the government cannot tackle the grave problems it faces on its present narrow base.

GOREN ADDS VOICE TO UNITY MOVE

Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi Shlomo Goren, meanwhile, added his voice to the mounting pressure on Rabin to form a national unity government. Addressing the fourth biennial convention of the Union of Israeli Synagogues yesterday, which was also addressed by Rabin, Rabbi Goren said an overall coalition embracing the present opposition parties would enhance the government’s stature and strengthen its policies.

At the same time, Likud leaders Menachem Beigin, Elimelech Rimalt and Ariel Sharon addressed a rally in downtown Jerusalem demanding Israel’s retention of all administered territories. The rally was timed to coincide with mass demonstrations in New York yesterday against the United Nations’ recognition of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

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