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(photo credit: Ronen Zvulun / Reuters)
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu declared at the Knesset on Wednesday that he had approved the "Boycott Law," at a Kadima-initiated 40-signature session titled "Diplomatic, Economic and Social Failures of the Netanyahu Government."
"Do not be misled, I approved the law," Netanyahu clarified after he was absent from the voting session for the "Boycott Bill." "If I would not have approved the law, it would not have come to this point," he declared.
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Amongst heckling, yelling and other verbal disruptions from various attendees at the Knesset session, Netanyahu spoke on reasons for deciding to allow the bill to become a law.
"Why did I approve [the law?]," Netanyahu asked rhetorically. "I am against boycotts, those which are directed against the state and those which are direct against groups of the state's citizens. I am against boycotts of Arabs, haredim and citizens of Israel."
He continued: "We have [Knesset] members which reside in Maale Adumim, Gush Etzion and Ariel. Do you want to evacuate them? Go then to the Knesset, pursuade and establish a government."
Netanyahu then directed his speech at Kadima party members who had supported the bill.
"You guys proposed the law. Central [party] members in Kadima," Netanyahu said before he was interrupted by MK Hanin Zuabi (United Arab List - Ta'al).
"First of all, I said 'you' - not as in all of you - not all Kadima members supported the vote, but central members such as chairman of the party faction, and those who proposed the bill such as MK Dalia Itzik, such as MK Yoel Hasson, such as MK Ruhama Avraham Balila, such as MK Majallie Whbee, such as MK Tsahi Hanegbi," Netanyahu continued.
"These are Kadima members which represented many others and we agree that no one forged the signatures, they are yours, there is no doubt," he said.
"So why did Kadima MKs who had supported the original bill, decide to oppose it at its final proposal?," Netanyahu questioned. "Maybe because it was made stricter and therefore they had changed their minds?"
He continued: "The simple truth is that you had proposed, you had supported and you advanced the bill, so why did you change your minds during the vote? Because their was pressure and you, Kadima Knesset members, folded under the pressure."