Cabinet sitting down Knesset 370.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will address the Knesset on the topic of the
Arab League’s flexibility on pre-1967 lines, after all 52 opposition MKs signed
a petition on Tuesday requiring him to do so.
Meretz chairwoman Zehava
Gal- On, who initiated the petition, said “the government cannot continue
dragging its feet and miss this great opportunity.”
She added that “The
new, promising version of the Arab League’s proposal for peace with Israel and
dozens of Arab states is at our doorstep and the government cannot turn its back
If at least 40 MKs sign a petition for the prime
minister to discuss any topic in the plenum, he is required by law to do so.
However, the MKs may only do so once a month.
Opposition leader Shelly
Yacimovich also called for Netanyahu to adopt the Arab League’s agreement to
“This is an important step by the Arab world, which has a
chance to be groundbreaking. We must examine it seriously,” she
Yacimovich’s comments came after MK Eitan Cabel, one of her major
critics within Labor, said in the Knesset plenum that she is avoiding discussion
of the topic and thinks peace is a burden.
Labor MK Erel Margalit wrote a
letter to Netanyahu calling it an opportunity to reach a regional agreement that
will let Israel be “part of the economic and political fabric” of the Middle
“After years of a diplomatic freeze with the Palestinian
government, Israel does not have the privilege of remaining indifferent to the
Arab League’s initiative and avoid stretching out its hand to implement
it...while protecting Israeli interests,” Margalit wrote.
turns out that, despite all that is happening in the Arab world, the Arab Peace
Plan is still alive, kicking and relevant,” MK Merav Michaeli (Labor)
“Netanyahu, [Finance Minister Yair] Lapid and [Economics and Trade
Minister Naftali] Bennett need to stop talking about destructive nonsense like a
[on a peace treaty] and act now.”
Coalition members from Yesh
Atid spoke out in favor of Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim
al-Thani's announcement, as well.
“This is an important, encouraging
step,” Science and Technology Minister Ya’acov Peri said.
announcement like this gives Israel an opening to continue to strengthen large
settlement blocs, in exchange for other territory that will be given to the
Palestinians. The time has come to check the possibility of adopting the Arab
League initiative as part of accelerating the diplomatic process.”
Atid faction leader Ofer Shelah called for moderates in the Arab world to be
involved in the peace process with the Palestinians, labeling al- Thani’s
declaration a good sign.
While most Likud Beytenu MKs avoided discussing
the topic, Tourism Minister Uzi Landau quipped on Army Radio: “The Arab League
proposal offers Auschwitz borders with slight changes.”
faction chairwoman Ayelet Shaked was unimpressed with the Arab League’s
“There’s nothing new here. [Former prime minister Ehud] Olmert
and [former US president Bill] Clinton talked about this. No one thinks that
400,000 people can be removed from their homes,” she said.
added that Bayit Yehudi will not oppose negotiations, as long as there is a
“give and take, not give and give.” In addition, the party opposes giving up any
MK Motti Yogev (Bayit Yehudi) referred to the murder of
by terrorists at Tapuah junction during a speech in the
“The answer to the murder is not with delusions that are
detached from reality like other MKs suggested," he said. "The answer is
strengthening settlements in Judea and Samaria."