Israel's Defence Minister, Moshe Dayan, indicated on Wednesday (20 February) that he might reconsider his decision not to serve in a new Government.
GV Empty Knesset Chamber
MV & SV PAN Ministers in Corridor talking (4 shots)
SV Audience listen to Mrs. Meir speaking at Jewish Agency Executive (2 shots)
MV PAN Moshe Dayan leaves Knesset and into car
SV Mrs. Meir speaking in Yiddish
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Background: Israel's Defence Minister, Moshe Dayan, indicated on Wednesday (20 February) that he might reconsider his decision not to serve in a new Government.
General Dayan--who has been severely criticised by members of the outgoing Government for his handling of last year's October was with Egypt and Syria -- made the statement on the final day of Mrs. Golda Meir's 20-day mandate to form a new Government.
It was a day of intense negotiations and political developments in Jerusalem. Mrs. Meir continued her efforts to form the new Government based on the outgoing Labour-led coalition, while General Dayan sought (and received) the support of the Rafi section of the Labour movement.
General Dayan chaired a meeting of the Rafi and received an assurance that its members would try to create the conditions within the new Government for his to continue his "difficult and responsible job."
Mrs. Meir, meanwhile, addressed a meeting of the World Zionist Executive in her efforts to bring the National Religious Party (N.R.P.) into the new coalition.
Mrs. Meir's Labour alignment won 51 of the 120 Knesset seats in the December elections, and needs the 10 seats of the National Religious Party to gain a parliamentary majority.
But the N.R.P. -- part of the outgoing coalition--has taken a hard line on the question of "Who is a Jew", and the return to Jordan of the Israeli occupied West Bank.
Mrs. Meir told the Zionist Executive she had no intention of forming a coalition Government with the conservative Likud group, which won seats from Labour in the elections. She said nothing would be done about the West Bank without the electorate expressing its view.
The Likud and the N.R.P. both share opposition to making territorial concessions in occupied Arab areas.
Mrs. Meir was to report to President Ephraim Katzir at five o'clock on Wednesday evening. She had said earlier she would not seek a 21-day extension of her mandate to form a new Government.