Israel's new Labour-based Coalition Cabinet won a clear vote of confidence from the Knesset (Parliament) on Sunday (10 March) night after Prime Minister Mrs.
Israel's new Labour-based Coalition Cabinet won a clear vote of confidence from the Knesset (Parliament) on Sunday (10 March) night after Prime Minister Mrs. Golda Meir declared the country's readiness to seek peace behind "defensible borders" with its Arab neighbours.
But, in her opening speech, Mrs. Meir warned that the situation along the tense Golan Heights' front with Syria was still uncertain.
The Israeli Premier disclosed she authorised Dr. Henry Kissinger, United States' Secretary of State, to tell the Syrians that within two weeks her Government was prepared to present detailed ideas for a separation-of-forces-agreement on the Golan Heights.
A noisy and at times acrimonious ten hours of debate followed Mrs. Meir's address. It led Mrs. Meir to comment how difficult it would have been to head a broad coalition Government -- as demanded by the right-wing Likud opposition.
The new Government won its vote of confidence by 62 votes to 46 (with nine abstentions).
The new coalition should have gained 68 votes; but four coalition party members -- two from the majority Labour Alignment and two from the National Religious Party (NRP) -- joined the five members of the ultra-religious Agudat Israel Party in abstaining.
Immediately after the vote the new Cabinet, which includes Moshe Dayan as Defence Minister, was sworn in. The Cabinet has 22 members, with a 23rd to be co-opted late as a fourth representative of the NRP. Two of the Cabinet members represent the Independent Liberal Party. The others represent various factions within the Labour alignment.
Outside the Knesset during the debate a small group demonstrated - against Moshe Dayan.
At one stage General Dayan refused to serve in a minority Government. His decision not to leave with his seven colleagues of the Rafi Labour faction was formed at the same time as the tense military alert escalated on the Golan Heights.
After the swearing-ion ceremony the new Cabinet was presented to President Ephraim Katzir.