Motti Yogev
Motti Yogev Hillel Maeir/TPS

MK Motti Yogev (Jewish Home) on Wednesday spoke with Arutz Sheva on the issue of construction in Judea and Samaria, the debate over the Supermarket Law and MK Yair Lapid's threats to turn to the Supreme Court to thwart Knesset legislation.

"Those who travel in Judea and Samaria see that there is construction, maybe not enough construction, but we are building and will continue to build," Yogev said, adding, "We are releasing construction plans and we will release more construction plans.”

"We concluded eight years of Obama's construction freeze, which were eight difficult years. The prime minister was required to withstand very difficult pressures, some of which I just recently found out about, such as when John Kerry sought to evacuate the entire Golan Heights and turn it into a Syrian-controlled nature reserve. There was also pressure on Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria. Now the pressure is slowly being alleviated,” he continued.

Yogev made clear, however, that the current pace of construction in Judea and Samaria is insufficient. "I am not satisfied with what we are building, definitely not. We are constantly calling for the planning of more construction and the approval of additional building plans," he said, adding that by the end of January, both the government and the Planning and Building Committee will approve another 3,000 housing units.

"The people of Israel are growing stronger in their country. The decision of the Likud Central Committee, which is ‘narrowing the gaps’ from the Jewish Home, is welcomed as well, and I hope that with the help of God, together with the additional construction, we will eventually reach full sovereignty between the sea and the Jordan," said Yogev.

He stressed that there is no construction freeze in Judea and Samaria, but noted that there is still much to be done. "We only have eight Knesset seats in the Jewish Home, and when we grow and win more, I hope and assume that our influence will be greater and we will succeed in influencing larger construction. At the end of the day, it’s what the people of Israel decide.”

Regarding the Supermarket Bill, Yogev predicted that the bill would be approved. A vote on the bill was postponed earlier this week when no majority for it could be found.

"This law is solely about maintaining the status quo on keeping the Sabbath. It is important that we insist that there be no desecration of Shabbat through commerce. We permitted restaurants and coffee shops [to open on Shabbat], but certainly not for full-fledged shopping for clothes and anything else on Shabbat,” he said.

Yair Lapid is threatening to appeal to the Supreme Court if the law is approved, what do you think?
"Lapid is trying to bypass Israeli democracy. Israeli democracy is the representation in the Knesset which makes the decisions. His going to the Supreme Court is in essence bypassing democracy. I am fond of Yair Lapid, but his party is also not democratic. He is the one who determines its members, while we are a party of primaries and elections."

As for the possibility that the Supreme Court would accept a petition and nullify a law, Yogev said, "Ultimately, the Knesset will have to understand that in this tension between the judiciary authority and the legislative branch, which is the representative of the people, we need to give preference to the legislative branch and accept the bill that we legislated. In all democratic countries there is no such thing that the Supreme Court annuls the legislative act of the legislator.”

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