The Knesset passed the first reading of a bill initiated by Likud Knesset Member Gideon Sa'ar, which requires a two-thirds majority of Knesset Members (MKs) to change the status of Jerusalem.
Currently, it would take 61 of the 120 MKs to change the Basic Law of Jerusalem, which annexed Jerusalem's eastern neighborhoods and the Old City to the capital. The new bill would require the votes of 80 MKs to cede parts of Jerusalem, rendering such a decision practically impossible. This would severely cripple the Olmert government's efforts to reach a compromise at the upcoming Annapolis conference.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has floated the idea of giving over parts of the capital to the Palestinian Authority (PA), which demands the entire area of Jerusalem conquered by the Zionists in the 1967 Six-Day War.
The vote in favor of the bill was 54-24, but it must be approved by a committee and pass two more Knesset votes before becoming law. A growing number of Knesset members in Prime Minister Olmert's own Kadima party are against his plan to split Jerusalem. Olmert's close confidant and aide Vice Prime Minister Chaim Ramon has openly promoted handing over parts of the capital to the PA.
MK Yitzchak Cohen (Shas) said Tuesday that Likud head Binyamin Netanyahu should not preach nationalist ideology to Shas, as Netanyahu voted for the Disengagement from Gaza. The Disengagement would have been prevented if Netanyahu, [Likud MK Limor] Livnat, and [Likud MK] Katz had voted against it, Cohen said.
Shas has clear red lines, Cohen said, and has made it clear to the government and to United States Secretary of State that the party will not support dividing Jerusalem. Shas wants peace, he said, but we wont march on a bridge of paper. We want to see solid ground beneath our feet.
Netanyahu has accused Shas of propping up Prime Minister Ehud Olmerts government as Olmert plans to make concessions to the Palestinian Authority.
Netanyahu and other politicians are planning to launch a group called Coalition for Jerusalem that will fight any plans to divide control of Jerusalem. Likud supporters are planning a rally to take place at 3 PM Wednesday in Jerusalems City of David.
Representatives from at least eight parties will attend the rally. Representatives from Likud, Shas, Yisrael Beiteinu, Kadima, NU/NRP, Labor, the Pensioners Party, and UTJ plan to attend the event.
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All the Zionists' pretenses of trying to make peace are here exposed as false, since they have decided in advance that they will never give the Palestinians their capital. When the peace conference fails, the Zionist media will no doubt blame it on Arab intransigence, while in reality the Zionists are the ones standing in the way of peace, prolonging the state of war, and spilling Jewish and non-Jewish blood.