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Israel Cabinet Wins in Knesset, Non-confidence Motion Defeated

July 16, 1958
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The coalition government led by Premier David Ben Gurion defeated today a motion of non-confidence pressed by the National Religious Party, the Agudah parties, General Zionists and Herut. The vote was 60 to 41 against the non-confidence motion. The Communists abstained.

The vote came on three separate motions grouped together in one for purposes of the vote. It marked the final step in the estrangement of the Religious Party from the coalition in which it had participated–as Mizrachi and Hapoel Hamizrachi parties–since the state was proclaimed.

The crisis broke out last month over regulations issued by the Ministry of the Interior, headed by Israel Bar-Yehuda, Achdut Avoda leader, which provides for the self-identification of any Israeli citizen as a Jew for purposes of registration with the government. The Religious Party opposed the regulations.

In the course of today’s Knesset debate. Premier Ben Gurion announced that he had named a three-member committee–consisting of himself, Mr. Bar-Yehuda and Justice Minister Pinchas Rosen–to study formulation of directives for the registration of children of mixed marriages whose parents wish to have them registered as Jews.

This committee, he said, would hear Jewish religious experts from Israel and abroad and would discuss the matter with leaders of various elements in Jewry. This proposal, approved at today’s pre-Knesset session Cabinet meeting, was believed here to hold the germ of a compromise on which the Religious Party might make up its differences with the coalition.

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