MK David Bitan
MK David BitanYonatan Sindel/Flash 90

Knesset Members from the left are outraged over a discussion planned for Tuesday in the Knesset’s House Committee on a motion submitted by MK David Bitan (Likud) stipulating that companies from Judea and Samaria will be prioritized in procurement tenders of the Knesset.

"It is the duty of the Israeli parliament to stand alongside citizens," Bitan, who chairs the House Committee, said on Monday.

"We have to pass the message to Europe that no agreement can be reached between us and the Palestinians through boycotts," he continued. "The Israeli industry in Judea and Samaria provides a livelihood for thousands of Palestinian families that the Palestinian Authority is unable to sustain due to its government corruption." 

Indeed, the European Union is planning a series of measures against Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria, having recently approved a motion to label products from the Golan Heights, Judea and Samaria (Shomron) as "settlement products".

The European Union's ambassador to Israel, Lars Faaborg-Andersen, said last week that Europe was planning to take additional steps in addition to labeling such products.

But Bitan’s initiative was met with outrage by MKs from Yesh Atid, including Elazar Stern, Meir Cohen and Haim Yellin, who said Monday the move was "dangerous" to Israeli democracy because it gives preference to one citizen at the expense of another.

The MKs called on Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein to cancel Tuesday’s discussion. "This is political aggression which will hurt mostly the residents of Judea and Samaria. It's cheap populism by the extreme right," said Stern.

"Where they were during Operation Protective Edge and during the Second Lebanon War? These things lead to alienation and hurt mainly the residents of Judea and Samaria and the people’s attitude towards them," he claimed.

MK Michal Rozin (Meretz) contacted the Knesset's legal advisor Eyal Yinon on Monday evening and requested his legal opinion on the motion.

"The Knesset as a public body is committed to the principles in the administrative law applicable to public bodies with regards to tenders for the purchase of goods and commodities," said Rozin.

"The proposed criteria is not about quality or price, and expresses unreasonable political preference in violation of equality," she continued.