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Events in Iraq May Lead to Full Restoration of Israel’s Cabinet

July 15, 1958
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

An almost immediate effect of the Iraqi revolt with its threat to the peace of the Middle East was the expected resolution of the Cabinet crisis and the return of the Religious Party to the coalition government by tonight or early tomorrow morning.

Religious circles claimed that the three-week stalemate would be broken by a return to the situation which prevailed before the Interior Ministry introduced regulations permitting self-identification of Israeli citizens as Jews on official documents.

Meanwhile, a group of 22 of Israel’s leading Intellectuals – professors, writers and scientists, both religious and non-religious in their orientation – today issued a plea against a hasty decision on the Jewish Identity issue which brought about the resignation of the religious members from the Cabinet. The intellectuals noted that they were all in agreement that “the dispute arising from the proposed change in the identity card system is apt to lead to a rift in the Jewish people in Israel and abroad.”

Premier David Ben Gurion was preparing today to put to tomorrow’s meeting of the Cabinet a compromise proposal intended to bring the Religious Bloc back into the Cabinet. The Premier’s proposal, it was learned, called, among other things, for acceptance for registration as Jews, children of a non-Jewish mother if both parents requested it and if the child had been circumcized even if it were not converted to Judaism.

In this form, the proposal has already been stamped unacceptable by the religious forces. Noting that the proposal provided that circumcision must not necessarily be ritual, but can be performed also by a physician, the religious leaders pointed out that under this proposal, a Moslem could claim to be a Jew since he would have been circumsized but not converted to Judaism.

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