Kadima to vote against J'lem-Golan referendum bill

MKs within party in favor of proposed law will not participate in vote; Hadash MK Henin calls on Knesset to reject bill.

November 22, 2010 17:43
2 minute read.
Livni hand

Livni doing a hand thing 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

The Kadima party will vote against the Jerusalem-Golan Heights national referendum bill, according to a statement released by the party on Monday.

The Knesset is expected to pass on its second and third reading the bill, which will require a national referendum before relinquishing land in east Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.

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It was decided that Kadima MKs in favor of the bill will not participate in the vote.

"Today's proposal relates to the question of a national referendum as a whole and not the specific issue that is being debated within this proposal," head of the opposition Tzipi Livni said during a party meeting.

"This is a matter of principle and it is not about who wants to give up parts of the country. These are the decisions of a leadership which understands the scope of the problems it faces and is exposed to all the relevant issues," Livni added.

Hadash MK Dov Henin called on the Knesset to reject the bill saying that the bill increases the risk of war and a breakdown in relations with the Arab world.

"Today, the government is seeking to convey a clear message about the refusal to continue with the Arab peace initiative and the rejection of every other attempt to reach a peace deal with Syria and the Palestinians," Henin said in a statement.

"This is the message that will be echoed in the Arab world and other countries around the globe. Implications of the decision include the deterioration of security and diplomacy and the increased risk of a new regional war."

Submitted by Knesset House Committee chairman Yariv Levin (Likud), the legislation would require either a national referendum or a supporting Knesset vote of 80 MKs in any instance in which Israel agreed in diplomatic talks to hand over areas under Israel sovereignty (i.e., in Jerusalem beyond the Green Line or on the Golan Heights).

According to the bill, any such deal would, within 180 days, be put to a national referendum that would be run by the Central Elections Committee.

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