Tense Vigil

Early elections in Israel

As voting time drew near, the debate within the Knesset assumed the proportions of melodrama. Would one member return in time from Argentina? Would former Prime Minister Menachem Begin, who had not been seen in public since he resigned last September, show up to cast the deciding ballot and thus bail out his successor, Yitzhak Shamir? In the end, it did not matter: the Knesset approved the opposition Labor Party's call for early elections, 61 to 58. Though the bill must survive three more votes, the balloting last week all but guaranteed that voters will go to the...

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