Bennett on Jerusalem Bill: Our capital cannot be divided

Yacimovich says the Right wants to stop progress on peace talks before it even starts.

By
October 21, 2013 19:28
1 minute read.
Economics and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett arriving for cabinet meeting, April 28, 2013.

Naftali Bennett at cabinet meeting 370. (photo credit: Alex Kolomoisky/Pool/Yediot Aharonot)

Not even 120 MKs should be allowed to give up Jerusalem, Economy Minister Naftali Bennett said Monday, urging his fellow ministers to reverse an appeal by Justice Minister Tzipi Livni to a bill limiting her ability to negotiate the capital's status in peace talks.

"I expect Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to bring the bill to the government for a vote soon," Bennett said.

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The Bayit Yehudi leader emphasized that "we won't divide Jerusalem or negotiate the eternal capital of the Jewish people."

Livni appealed a bill proposed by MK Ya'acov Litzman (UTJ) and approved by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation Sunday, which would require 80 MKs to authorize any negotiations on the status of Jerusalem with the Palestinians. Her appeal freezes the bill, which can only be brought back to the Knesset to be passed into law by a second ministerial vote.

On Monday, 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," she added.

Opposition leader Shelly Yacimovich (Labor) called the Jerusalem Bill part of a "wave of anti-democratic legislation by the coalition."

"The Right thinks that there will be peace in two seconds and is doing all it can to stop it, even though we all know negotiations are going very slowly," she stated. "On the one hand, there's no progress, and on the other hand, people are trying to stop the possibility in advance."


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