Jerusalem, 14 August 1997


(Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat)

At the Cabinet meeting yesterday (Wednesday), 13.08.97:

1. The Prime Minister briefed the cabinet on his visit to Jordan with the Foreign Minister and the National Infrastructure Minister.

The Prime Minister informed the cabinet that the policy presented during the visit is that we are prepared to ease the steps taken towards the Palestinian Authority, but that we expect concrete steps to be taken by the Palestinian Authority in the war against terrorism.

2. The Justice Minister announced that, with the approval of the Prime Minister, he intends to convene the Ministerial Committee on Legislation and Law Enforcement in order to prepare a memorandum on a government bill prepared by the Ministry of Religious Affairs on an amendment to the Jewish Religious Services Law (Religious Councils). The agreed upon text will be presented to the Knesset plenum for a vote during the recess.

The Prime Minister made it clear that the Minister of Religious Affairs had refused to sign the announcement appointing Dr. Joyce Brenner to the Netanya Religious Council, despite the ruling by the High Court of Justice that he do so by yesterday.

The Prime Minister explained that he had been advised by the Attorney- General, who explained to him that it would be impossible to delay implementing the High Court of Justice’s decision. Therefore, and in order to prevent contempt of the High Court of Justice, the Prime Minister announced yesterday evening that he was taking over the post of Minister of Religious Affairs. According to Basic Law: This takes effect immediately, and the Prime Minister signed the announcement in accordance with his authority, as required by the High Court of Justice’s ruling in the matter of the appointment of Dr. Brenner to the Netanya Religious Council.

3. The cabinet appointed Dr. Mordechai Bashari to the post of Director General of the Ministry of Science and Technology, in place of Zvi Yannai.

4. The cabinet continued its discussion of the plan to increase economic growth and to determine fiscal and monetary policy goals [for 1998.]