Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Begin to Consider Cabinet Changes

August 13, 1979
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Premier Menachem Begin is due to conduct separate talks with most Cabinet Minister this week on the possibility of reorganizing the Cabinet, it was learned here following today’s weekly session of the Cabinet.

The Cabinet did not discuss possible changes, and it seems that the decision to let. Begin “feel out” the scene was the formula agreed by all Ministers in order to avoid personal clashes. It was the first Cabinet session headed by the Premier since his hospitalization. Begin was absent from the Cabinet conference room for three weeks.

In his opening remarks today, Begin suggested that the Ministers “open a new leaf in the relations among them and in the manner the Cabinet is functioning.” Begin noted that the government had received from the people a mandate to rule four years. “We have two years and three months of work ahead of us,” he said “We shall not give up this mandate even for one day,” he said, ruling out the possibility of early elections.


Begin declared that from now on the Cabinet would discuss only substantial issues, and not personal differences between Ministers and irrelevant opposing views by the various Ministires. It was agreed that Ministers will try to work out their differences in meetings among themselves. Only after they fail to reach an agreement will they bring the matter up before the Premier or his Deputy.

It was further agreed that only if the Premier failed to bring about an agreement between disputing Ministers, would the entire matter come up for a general debate in the Cabinet. Thus, by giving Begin “carte blanche” to work out an agreed formula of a possible reshuffle in the Cabinet the Cabinet avoided further in confrontation over its functioning.

When Begin arrived at the Cabinet meeting he was toasted with wine in honor of his recovery. Also present was Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan who underwent surgery yesterday for an injury to his left vocal chord. Dayan’s doctors said that the vocal chard which was damaged in 1968 when Dayan was trapped in an archeological excavation and seriously injured, was irritated during his recent operation for cancer of the intestinal tract. Dayan’s voice is expected to return to normal in a few days, but he is expected to undergo further treatment to strengthen the vocal chard.

Recommended from JTA