Bayit Yehudi head Naftali Bennett has not given up hope on passing a bill that
would grant constitutional weight to the legal requirement for a referendum
before giving up land under Israeli sovereignty, Bennett said Tuesday in an
interview with The Jerusalem Post that will be published in the newspaper’s
Bayit Yehudi suffered a political setback on Monday
when Yesh Atid decided not to support the immediate passage of a bill that would
upgrade the referendum requirement to the status of a Basic Law. Without the
backing of Yesh Atid there is no majority for the bill, even though it has the
support of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
Under the law Bayit Yehudi
hoped to upgrade – which was passed by the 18th Knesset – either a special
majority or a national referendum would be required in order to hand over
annexed territories or land in pre-1967 Israel in the framework of a peace
“I hope we succeed in getting it through,” Bennett said.
“Requiring a referendum fits with our goal of minimizing the arguments inside
Israeli society and the government. I think we can have disagreements but live
Bennett said he had given a lot of thought to the purpose and
concept of a referendum and determined that it would be very important on an
issue as important as withdrawing from land. He said that the Oslo II agreement
passed by a single vote – that of an MK who shifted to the Left from the Right
in return for his appointment as a deputy minister.
“I think it would be
a disaster to have a Palestinian state in the heart of Israel, while other
coalition parties disagree,” the Bayit Yehudi chairman said. “A referendum is
the way to deal with that.”
Yesh Atid officials said their decision to
not back the bill was technical – should a diplomatic process with the
Palestinians begin, the faction would reconsider supporting it.