A statement by a spokesman of the Mapai Party that the Israel Government may postpone implementing the hotly-disputed registration identity card by which Israel citizens could identify themselves as Jews raised hopes today that the National Religious Party might return to the coalition Government of Prime Minister David Ben Gurion.
The statement was made as Moshe Shapiro, religious party leader who resigned as Minister of Religions in protest against the new identity card, left Israel for a month-long holiday in Switzerland. Mr. Shapiro left on advice of doctors who felt the religious party leader had not sufficiently recovered from the wounds he sustained in the hand grenade attack on the Knesset last year.
The Mapai statement intimated that implementation of the new regulations might be postponed pending completion of the work of a new inter-ministerial committee named by the Prime Minister to study the problem and make recommendations. Minister of Interior Israel Bar Yehuda and Justice Minister Pinchas Rosen, with the Prime Minister, make up the committee.
It was reported that the Mapai peace feeler might have been prompted by Ben Gurion’s need to obtain a greater working majority for policies in the developing Middle East crisis, particularly because of left-wing opposition to Israel cooperation with Western deployments in neighboring Arab countries.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.