(photo credit: Jonathan Beck)
MK Eli Gabai (National Union-National Religious Party) promised Thursday that by the time he places his proposed law on the Knesset table next Monday requiring a special Knesset majority to endorse territorial concessions on the Golan, there will be surprise names among the bill's backers.
Thus far, MKs from all of the right-wing opposition parties, but also from coalition members Shas, Labor and Kadima were among the 57 who signed on to the proposed law, which would require a Knesset majority of 80 - or two-thirds - in order to give up any territory from the Golan Heights as part of negotiations.
"By Monday, I hope to have 61 signatures on the proposal in order to demonstrate the seriousness of the bill," said Gabai, adding that the additional four signatures that he hopes to collect will also be from "senior" members of the coalition.
Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman Tzahi Hanegbi (Kadima) as well as his fellow party members MKs Ronit Tirosh, David Tal, Marina Solodkin and Ze'ev Elkin have already signed on, as has Labor MK Yoram Marciano.
Meanwhile, less than 24 hours after Olmert's announcement, parties lined up and clarified their platforms regarding a possible withdrawal from the Golan Heights. The Likud, National Union-National Religious Party, Israel Beiteinu, United Torah Judaism and Shas are opposed to withdrawing from the Golan Heights, while Labor, Meretz and the three Arab parties are in favor.
Kadima and Gil Pensioners Party MKs split on the matter. Most Kadima MKs are waiting to see what a deal with Syria would look like before expressing an opinion.
Pensioners chairman Rafi Eitan and the three MKs loyal to him are in favor of a deal with Syria that includes giving up the Golan. MK Moshe Sharoni and the two MKs who are trying to defect from Gil to Russian-Israeli billionaire Arkadi Gaydamak's nascent party are opposed.