Thursday, December 2, 2010

Israel Passes Law to Protect Its Capital

Israel’s Knesset passed a law to prevent an Israeli government giving up East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights without a significant number of people supporting it, on November 22.
The national referendum law means that this territory can only be given away if approved by two thirds of the Knesset. If 80 out of the 120 Knesset members refuse to approve such a land giveaway, the deal must be approved by a majority of voters in a national referendum.
“The new law makes it extremely unlikely that any government can surrender any of the land covered by the law, barring a drastic shift in political leanings against the growing nationalist mood,” writes
The bill passed with 65 members of the Knesset supporting it, and 33 opposing.
The law does not cover the disputed territories of Judea and Samaria (often erroneously referred to as occupied territories in the media).
Many in Israel, including Jerusalem’s Mayor Nir Barkat, view Jerusalem as “the united, undivided capital of Israel.” The Golan is of great strategic importance to Israel’s defense, and vital for the nation’s water supply.