The Knesset plenum will vote on the “Referendum Bill” Monday, in its second and third readings. If the bill passes, it will mean that any future deal involving a retreat from land presently under Israeli sovereignty will have to first be approved by the Israeli people in a national referendum.
The law would not apply to most land in Judea and Samaria, but would apply to any attempt by the government to hand over land inside Jerusalem or on the Golan Heights, and any swap involving land within the pre-Six Day War borders.
Israel's mountainous heartland – known since biblical times as Judea and Samaria – was liberated from Arab occupation in the 1967 Six Day War, as were the Golan Heights and the eastern, northern and southern parts of Jerusalem. Israel has declared sovereignty over Jerusalem and the Golan, but not over Judea and Samaria.
The Referendum Bill was proposed in the previous (Seventeenth) Knesset and the process of its legislation was carried over into the present, Eighteenth Knesset. It was hammered into its final state by a joint committee common to the Law, Constitution and Justice Committee and the House Committee, under the chairmanship of MK Yariv Levin (Likud).
"This is a law of supreme national importance for preserving the nation's unity,” said MK Levin Sunday. “The bill expresses the need to ensure that the fateful and irreversible decision on ceding parts of the homeland that are under state sovereignty is not undertaken through parliamentary deals... as has happened, regrettably, in the past.”
The proposed law, added Levin, “expresses another important principle – that true peace is a peace between nations and not just a peace that is signed by leaders. The law enjoys support that crosses party and political lines and it will bind any Israeli leadership to reach an agreement that is good for Israel, and that will be accepted by the absolute majority of the public.”