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Weizman Under Heavy Fire from Likud

June 21, 1978
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Defense Minister Ezer Weizman has come under heavy criticism from Likud for his outspoken remarks during Sunday’s Cabinet session where he vigorously opposed the formulation agreed to by a majority of his colleagues in answer to the American questions on the future status of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Some Likud members are urging Premier Menachem Begin to take Weitzman to task for what they regard as his disparaging statements about Begin and Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan. Others are demanding that the Defense Minister resign.

Weitzman’s views were at sharp variance with those of Begin and Dayan, whose formula, rejecting consideration of the future of the occupied territories until the five years of “self-rule” have run their course, prevailed. Although the Cabinet session was closed, Weitzman was widely quoted as having told Begin and Dayan that they “evaded” a reply to the American queries and that they failed to “see the handwriting on the wall.” He reportedly accused Begin of appeasing Dayan and Begin’s close Herut associate, Minister Without Portfolio Haim Landau, who advocated an uncompromising response to the U.S. The Histadrut daily Davar reported that Weitzman charged Begin and Dayan with “lying to us for months” and ” leading the country to war.”


As of this afternoon there were no statements from Weizman denying the remarks attributed to him. Neither did he deny reports that he planned to take no part in political matters in the future but devote himself to strengthening Israel’s armed forces in preparation for a possible future war. Weizman has given no intimation that he planned to resign.

The Defense Minister visited the West Bank today, stopping off at the Gush Emunim settlement, Karnei Shomron where he spoke to the settlers about their needs. He also visited Nablus where he met the Mayor and town councilmen. A ring of security men prevented journalists from approaching Weizman and he volunteered no statements.

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