Failing health has put the winner of the recent Israeli elections - Mr Menachem Begin of the right-wing Likud party - into hospital.
Failing health has put the winner of the recent Israeli elections - Mr Menachem Begin of the right-wing Likud party - into hospital. Doctors at Tel Aviv's City Hospital Intensive Care Unit declined to say whether it was a recurrence of the heart trouble the 64 year old politician suffered two months ago. His illness puts the leadership of Israel into question.
A spokesman for the Likud party said on Monday (23/5) that the next phase in the Israeli election aftermath was negotiation with possible partners in for a coalition Government. High on the list were talks with the newly formed reformist party called "Movement for Change" led by the former archaeology Professor Yigael Yadin.
SYNOPSIS: The question of leadership began a long time ago. Israeli politics, like those in any other country are based on friendships and alliances forged many years previously. After the Six Day war in 1967, many of the leading figures were honoured, among them General Ezer Weizmann for the victory won by Israeli forces over a combined Arab opposition.
But in 1970, Ezer Weizmann, along with other members of the Gahal coalition, of which the basic Herut party core of Mr. Menachem Begin was the backbone, opted out of their position in the Cabinet of the then Prime Minister, Mrs Golda Meir, over the Israeli acceptance of the so-called "Rogers Plan" originating in the United States calling for a withdrawal from Arab occupied territory.
The Government weathered the storm, and the ruling Labor Party continued in power until their recent defeat. Another possibility mentioned for leadership of the Likud Party was Mr Simcha Ehrlich, who was second on the ticket in the recent elections. However some observers say that was purely window dressing for the elections.