Knesset rejects 'Two-State Solution Bill'

Initiative by Labor MK aimed to only allow land in W. Bank, Gaza to be annexed as part of peace deal leading to 2 states.

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January 8, 2014 17:15
1 minute read.
The Knesset.

Knesset 370. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)

 
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The Knesset in a preliminary vote Wednesday rejected the so-called “two-state solution bill,” which would prohibit the government from unilaterally annexing land.

The bill, proposed by MK Hilik Bar (Labor), would have allowed land in the West Bank or Gaza to be annexed only as part of a peace treaty leading to two states.

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“You are reaching a moment of truth, in which you have to look in the mirror of history and realize that we need to separate from the Palestinians,” opposition leader Isaac Herzog (Labor) said to the coalition. “If you don’t take this opportunity now, history will judge you, because we will become an isolated, binational state.”

Herzog called for coalition MKs to “overcome narrow political interests and don’t make promises you know you can’t keep. If you don’t face the historic challenge, we will replace you and do it ourselves,” he added.

Despite Herzog’s warnings, the bill was voted down with 44 opposed, including MKs from Hatnua and Yesh Atid, and 25 in favor.

Bar focused on criticizing Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, who gave a hawkish speech on Tuesday.

“Brother, stop fantasizing,” Bar said. “The bizarre things you said endanger the future of our children. You act like you own Zionism and nationalism...but you are destroying Zionism.”



Deputy Minister for Liaison with the Knesset Ofir Akunis responded to Bar’s proposal, saying that the government is in the middle of negotiations and will bring whatever agreement it reaches to the Knesset for approval.

However, Akunis added, the legislature cannot decide the guidelines for talks with the PLO.

“Why do you have such passion to give away parts of our homeland?” Akunis asked Bar.

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