Labor Bill to Ban Annexation of Judea, Samaria

Leftist MK to propose bill preventing full annexation of Judea and Samaria; if passed, it would force a two-state solution.

Tova Dvorin,

Bar and Abbas (illustrative)
Bar and Abbas (illustrative)

Israel's bill to annex the Jordan Valley has drawn ire from the Left since being proposed by MK Miri Regev (Likud) - and now the Labor party is seeking to shoot down the legislation with a bill of their own.

On Wednesday, Labor unanimously approved "The Two State Law," proposed by MK Yehiel "Hilik" Bar. The bill seeks to "ensure that the future of the disputed territories of Judea, Samaria and Gaza, will be determined only by agreement and as part of a two-state solution." 

Bar coordinated the proposal with political experts and with the leftist NGO OneVoice Israel, which focuses on advancing left-wing interests in Israel's political system. MKs from Shas and Meretz also signed the bill.

The bill will be passed to the Ministerial Committee of Legislation on Sunday. If approved, it will be voted on by the Knesset as early as Wednesday. 

Representatives from Bar's office noted that the bill was not only a response to the annexation bill, but also in light of US Secretary of State John Kerry's visit to the region to force along peace talks. 

In general, however, the bill seems to be a matter of political principle.

"The bill is in response to hazardous measures from the extreme right, who called for unilateral annexation of land in the Jordan Valley, Judea and Samaria," Bar's office stated. "These steps intend to sabotage the Israeli political negotiations, harm the efforts of the Prime Minister to resolve the conflict between the two countries, and deepen the existing rift with [Israel has with] the Americans."  

"Two states for two peoples is the only solution that ensures Israel's future as a Jewish, Zionist and democratic state," Bar's office concluded. 

The MK himself added that the law "will allow once and for all for the Opposition parties to show their willingness or unwillingness to make legislative history to determine if they are for or against the two-state solution."  

Bar insists that the law "does not harm Israel in any way" and would "only to encourage the government of Israel and the Palestinians to resolve the conflict - but only as part of a two-state solution, since any other solution would be devastating to Israel's future, security, and status."  

The MK also claims that the annexation bill is "insane" and that "unilateral annexation of territory by Israel would be a well-known death call for negotiations." He stressed the importance of pleasing the US through the process, and claimed that negotiations were the only way to achieve a lasting peace. 

Bar's claim strongly contradicts polls released Tuesday proving that most Israelis - and even most Palestinian Arabs - are less than enamored by the US's involvement in talks. Reports continue to surface that US Secretary of State John Kerry is going to force a deal upon Israel and the PA - though both sides are reluctant to accept the US's terms.