Bill to Prevent Division of Yerushalayim Defeated

YERUSHALAYIM -

The Knesset has rejected by a vote of 51-12 a bill that would have required a two-thirds majority to authorize the government to enter into negotiations over the division of Yerushalayim in any peace agreement with the Palestinians.

Notably absent from the plenum during Wednesday’s vote were the coalition MKs who had voiced support for the measure.

“It cannot be that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will break the promise he made on this stage, that Yerushalayim is non-negotiable,” the bill’s author, UTJ MK Yaakov Litzman said in the plenum.

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni said that the government opposes the bill, calling it a “cynical use of the most important place to every Jew in order to embarrass the coalition.

It would, she claimed, be dangerous to the city’s future, since it would have halted the current negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

Rabbi Litzman said he does not believe that Livni was representing the government, because “if Netanyahu agreed with that, he would be the head of Meretz, not the Likud. That is not the Likud position.”