Final Vote on United Yerushalayim Law Postponed

(Sebi Berens/Flash90)

The government will not bring to its second and third vote this week the “United Yerushalayim law,” which would require a majority of 80 MKs to change the current borders of the city. A report on Hadashot News said that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu made the decision in order not to place further pressure on the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump, after he announced that the U.S. recognized Yerushalayim as the capital of Israel.

The law was authorized by the Ministerial Law Committee in July. It was proposed by Education Minister Naftali Bennett. Netanyahu, who left for a trip to Europe Motzoei Shabbos, asked Bennett to postpone the vote on the law in order not to further inflame Arab reaction over another perceived change to the status quo of the city.

Under the bill, any deal to divide Yerushalayim would not be approved unless 80 Knesset members voted for it. According to the law, the current municipal boundaries of the city will remain intact unless 80 MKs vote that they are willing to surrender part of the city to the Palestinian Authority, if and when a negotiated settlement develops between Israel and the PA that would require Israeli compromises on Yerushalayim.

The law is similar to one passed in 2014, a Basic Law that requires a referendum on land concessions of sovereign Israeli territory. If 80 MKs vote for an agreement that requires such concessions, then the referendum would be canceled. The new law would go a step beyond that, eliminating the possibility of a referendum on the matter altogether, and requiring a vote of 80 MKs to concede parts of the city.