referendum on a peace agreement is the democratic option, Knesset House
Committee chairman Tzachi Hanegbi said on Wednesday.
“This bill sends the
message that there is another battle which will be resolved through public
campaigns, by presenting reasons and convincing people. That is democratic
culture,” Hanegbi (Likud Beytenu) said.
The House Committee worked on
preparing the bill, which requires any treaty conceding sovereign land to be
brought to the Knesset. If over 80 MKs approve, the deal can be implemented. If
61 to 80 MKs approve, it will be brought to a referendum.
If less than
half of all MKs approve, the treaty will be rejected.
does not apply to a treaty conceding parts of the West Bank, but it does apply
to east Jerusalem, the Golan and anything within the 1949 armistice
The bill essentially turns the existing Referendum Law into a
Basic Law, meaning that is meant to eventually become part of the
It also adds a clause making the day of the referendum a
MK Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz) said he “expects this bill to
be a double-edged sword causing us a lot of trouble. We’ll end up looking
for ways to get around it.”
“In the past, Basic Laws were part of a
constitutional revolution to protect human rights, but this bill is trying to
ruin all chances of peace,” Horowitz added.
Coalition chairman Yariv
Levin (Likud Beytenu) pointed out that the content of the bill is not new, and
it is only being reinforced as a Basic Law in order to defend it from petitions
to the Supreme Court.
The House Committee did not hold any votes on the
bill and will continue preparing it for its second and third (final) plenum