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Knesset Highlights: Fifth Knesset

(1961 - 1965)

Among the many issues dealt with by the fifth Knesset were the government's new economic policy, which concerned the stabilization of the market by means of price stability and setting a single exchange rate. This policy was harshly criticized.

The subject of discrimination on grounds of ethnic origin came up for frequent debate, especially in connection with the Bnei Yisrael community from India, whose Judaism was questioned by the religious authorities, and in connection with the small number of students in the institutes for higher education of North African origin.

The end of the Eichmann trial, the affair of the German scientists working with Egypt and the establishment of diplomatic relations with West Germany also caused a storm.

The decision to enable the bringing to Israel of the remains of the Revisionist leader Ze'ev Jabotinsky symbolized a change in attitude of the government, under Mapai, towards the Herut Movement, while the cancellation of the military adminstration regarding the Druze population (as a first stage) symbolized the beginning of a change in the attitude of the state towards the minorities living in it.

The Lavon Affair refused to get off the agenda, especially because of the attitude of David Ben Gurion; and the affair of the expulsion of Dr. Re'uven Soblen - a Jew whose extradition on grounds of spying was requested by the U.S. - placed the issue of the application of the Law of Return on the agenda.

Sources: The Knesset