The decision on a successor to Prime Minister Menachem Begin was scheduled to be made tonight by the Central Committee of the 960-member Herut Party, Mr. Begin's majority faction in the governing Likud coalition. The fight, reports Monitor special correspondent Trudy Rubin, will be between Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir, a longtime colleague of Mr. Begin, and the much younger Deputy Prime Minister David Levi, a rising political star of Moroccan Jewish origins. Mr. Levi has broad populist appeal among the majority of Israelis from Arab states.
Mr. Shamir is the favorite, but the decision to allow the choice to be made by the broader-based Central Committee rather than by Cabinet ministers and members of Parliament boosts Mr. Levi's prospects.