(photo credit: TOVAH LAZAROFF)
Right-wing politicians and activists are pushing for a debate and vote Sunday by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation on a bill to annex the Ma’aleh Adumim settlement.
They have renewed their campaign for the vote as US special envoy Jason Greenblatt winds up a week-long visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories.
Should the debate and vote be held Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu likely will already have departed for a three-day visit to China. But it’s unclear whether the matter will actually be raised.
The Knesset Land of Israel Caucus said Thursday night it was moving forward, however, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked’s spokeswoman said it was not.
A spokesman for the caucus said the issue is on the committee’s agenda for Sunday and that a final decision on the matter be made that day.
Also, on Thursday night, the Caucus distributed a YouTube video that linked passage of annexation legislation with the famous United Nations vote in 1947 to create the State of Israel.
It featured an old fashioned radio, but instead of the UN role proceedings of votes of member states, a voice can be heard calling on ministers to vote. A statement that follows states: This can be a reality as early as Sunday.”
Netanyahu has already pressured the committee to delay the issue numerous times, including last Tuesday. Sunday’s meeting will be the last before the Knesset breaks for Passover on March 24.
Failure to move the bill forward at this moment would mean that no movement on the matter could take place until the Knesset is back in session on May 8.
In spirit, there is majority support among the ministers and in the Knesset for the annexation of Ma’aleh Adumim, but turning that support into votes is likely to be an uphill battle because some politicians believe the timing is wrong, particularly given that it would likely antagonize the United States.
Others politicians do not like the current version of the bill, which includes the annexation of unbuilt area of the settlement known as E1.