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Israeli opposition party asks that Sharon be ordered home

An Israeli opposition party petitioned the Supreme Court Wednesday to compel Industry Minister Ariel Sharon, suing Time magazine for libel in New York, to return home immediately or vacate his post.

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Meanwhile, Israel's national-unity government, in office less than three months, faced its first defection yesterday by an orthodox political party upset over its lack of top government posts.

''Sometimes one gets the painful feeling that all Israelis are equal but some Israelis are more equal than others,'' Rabbi Yitzhak Peretz, leader of the Shas Torah Guardians Party, said in his letter of resignation Tuesday to Prime Minister Shimon Peres.

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