Ministers okay bill mandating two-thirds majority for dividing Jerusalem

December 16, 2013 03:54

The proposal, by MK Ya’acov Litzman (UTJ), was brought back to a vote after Justice Minister Tzipi Livni appealed it in October.

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MK Ya'acov Litzman at the Knesset

MK Ya'acov Litzman at the Knesset 370. (photo credit: Judy Siegel-Itzkovich)

A bill requiring a two-thirds majority in the Knesset for negotiations to divide Jerusalem was approved by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation Sunday.

The proposal, by MK Ya’acov Litzman (UTJ), was brought back to a vote after Justice Minister Tzipi Livni appealed it in October.

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Litzman’s bill mandates that 80 MKs are necessary to authorize any negotiations with the Palestinians on whether to give up any part of Jerusalem.

Meretz leader Zehava Gal-On said “the vote reveals the true face of the Netanyahu government, which is committed to an ideology of the complete Land of Israel and wants to sabotage any future peace treaty.”

“The Netanyahu government sends Livni to negotiate, but at the same time allows the Knesset to put in preconditions that torpedo any possibility of negotiating on Jerusalem. Even the Netanyahu government knows that there won’t be an agreement without dividing sovereignty in Jerusalem. Therefore, supporting this bill goes against logic and allowing the government to negotiate on anything,” Gal-On stated.

Litzman declined comment Sunday.

In October, after appealing the bill when it was first approved by the Ministerial Committee, Livni said that responsible ministers must allow the government to make policies before they reach the Knesset.

“Members of the coalition are ruining the ability of Israel to make diplomatic decisions and saying the government shouldn’t deal with security concerns out of some kind of populism,” she said incredulously. “Do they want the government to defend our interests, including Jerusalem, or do they want to lead us all to chaos?” Livni emphasized at a Hatnua faction meeting that “no one can teach us about Jerusalem and no one loves Jerusalem more than us. Jerusalem isn’t a haredi or religious matter, it is a deep, national one.”

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