Israel: Scrambling for Advantage

The prospect: early elections and a vituperative campaign

"We all understood that we reached the point of no return," a Cabinet member said glumly when it was all over. "The Prime Minister to realize that a burden had been from his shoulders."

Thus, with mournful stoicism, an embattled Menachem Begin accepted near demise of his government last week and called for new elections. The Minister's move climaxed weeks of indecision following the collapse of his Likud coalition over a hotly disputed pay raise for the country'sschoolteachers. It set Israel's Knesset to squabbling over the precise timing of the election. It...

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