Skip to comments.Netanyahu to Vote Against Pullout [making move against Sharon]
Posted on 02/16/2005 9:49:20 AM PST by Messianic Jews Net
Finance Minister Binyamin Netanyahu intends to vote against disengagement in Sunday's cabinet vote unless Prime Minister Ariel Sharon agrees to a national referendum, sources close to him said on Tuesday.
The minister is to vote in favor of the disengagement implementation bill in the Knesset on Wednesday.
Netanyahu does not plan to announce how he intends to vote in Sunday's cabinet vote on the withdrawal until the last minute, but a source close to him said he has made up his mind and something very dramatic would have to happen for him to vote in favor.
The source said that Netanyahu had put the referendum idea on the national agenda and he firmly believed that disengagement should not be carried out without a referendum.
Justice Minister Tzipi Livni worked out a compromise in June with Netanyahu, Education Minister Limor Livnat and Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom to get them to vote in favor of disengagement as long as the withdrawal would be carried out in stages with votes ahead of each stage.
Sharon has obtained a commitment from Livnat and Shalom to vote in favor in Sunday's vote, leaving Netanyahu alone among the three not endorsing the plan. Sharon told Livnat that the Livni compromise would be included in Sunday's vote, despite the addition of Labor to the coalition and a ruling by Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz requiring that settlers be given five months notice for dismantling settlements.
That commitment was enough to secure the support of Livnat and Shalom, but not Netanyahu.
Sharon's associates said they would be shocked if Netanyahu voted against disengagement. "Bibi knows that if he doesn't vote in favor, he will lose a budget, a nation and, most of all, a partnership," one said.
Go Bibi Go!!!
This is what happened:
Knesset Approves Disengagement Bill
20:03 Feb 16, '05 / 7 Adar 5765
Following a two-day debate on the Expulsion/Compensation, the Knesset voted for six hours on its various clauses and proposed amendments today. The final vote was 59-40 in favor of the uprooting.
It is now Israeli law that Prime Minister Sharon can order the Gush Katif and northern Shomron areas closed in preparation for their evacuation and abandonment, and the expulsion of their Jews. A final Cabinet decision on the actual implementation of the uprooting is expected this coming Sunday.
The voting session began when Transportation Minister Meir Sheetrit, speaking for the government, presented the government's proposed corrections. He asked that the Knesset accept all of them and turn down all of the privately-proposed corrections. Each proposed change was voted on separately.
All privately-proposed amendments, including the dozens proposed by MK Tzvi Hendel, were turned down. In addition, the government's preferred version of various clauses was accepted in every instance of dispute.
Knesset Speaker Ruby Rivlin voted a consistently anti-disengagement line, as did, for the most part, another 15 Likud MKs known as the Likud loyalists. (Sharon's allies and much of the media call them the Likud rebels.) They are MKs Erdan, Blumental, Ben-Lulu, Gorolovsky, Gamliel, Chazan, E. Yatom, Kachlon, C. Katz, D. Levy, Landau, Ness, Saar, Kara, and Edelstein.
Though most of the votes on the hundreds of proposed changes were done by a show of hands, some of them were registered electronically, and about a dozen were carried out on a name-by-name basis.
The MKs of the hareidi-religious Degel HaTorah and Agudat Yisrael parties were not present for the vote. A spokesperson for MK Avraham Ravitz, contacted by Arutz-7 during the vote, said, "He is abstaining. This is how the rabbis instructed him, and so that's what he's doing."
Among the government's proposed changes, one of them was the following important point:
The law states that the Prime Minister can determine the cut-off date after which non-residents of the areas in question will not be permitted to enter. The Committee stipulated that this date can be up to 45 days before the scheduled date of the uprooting. The government proposed to remove all restrictions from the Prime Minister in this matter, such that he will be able to close the area as early as several days from now if he so desires.
Law Committee Chairman Michael Eitan (pictured above) said that there is no reason to allow the Prime Minister to leave the residents under military closure for as long as the Prime Minister happens to decide: "What will be the purpose of having checkpoints that residents will have to pass through, and get special permission for family members to visit, and large numbers of soldiers will have to be deployed, and thousands of people will play cat-and-mouse with the soldiers, trying to sneak in, and the like?"
Another important change that the government proposed and succeeded overwhelmingly in passing rules out the possibility of holding a referendum on the disengagement question. The vote on this issue was 72-26.
The bill as originally formulated states that it will come into effect 21 days after its passage in the Knesset. The purpose of this proposed delay was to enable a referendum to be decided upon and legislated during this period.
The government, however, objected to this idea. Sheetrit claimed that there is no chance for a referendum, and that there is therefore no reason to delay the law and perpetuate the residents' uncertainty.
Law Committee Chairman MK Michael Eitan, in explaining why the 21-day delay was necessary, first of all emphasized that it would not delay the actual implementation of the uprooting, which will be "five months minus 21 days" after the day of its passage in the Knesset.
Eitan further explained that a referendum is critical in order to isolate the extremists who will not accept a democratic decision. He feels that a referendum will be honored by most of the populace, and will thus be a uniting factor.
Eitan, who supports the disengagement, said, "People think that if they're in favor of the disengagement, they have to stand at attention to everything the government demands. This is not true! You can be in favor of a referendum and the withdrawal at the same time! Don't be afraid of threats! The main thing is that it should be successfully implemented, and this can only happen if we take into account the people involved..." When left-wing MKs interrupted him, Eitan said, "I would like to see how you would react if a kibbutz that was to be evacuated would be placed under closure for a month."
As mentioned, however, the government's position was accepted.
The bill mentions a committee dealing with individual residents' complaints and problems, and states that a representative of the communities slated for expulsion will be a member thereof. The Law Committee stipulated that the representatives be determined "with the agreement" of the leaders of the Regional Councils in question Gaza Coast and northern Samaria while the government demanded that the representatives be determined only "in consultation" with these leaders.
Another change that the government made involves Gush Etzion, south of Jerusalem. Regarding the options for relocation of entire communities, the committee-approved version of the bill stated that existing communities that accept expelled communities can include those in the area of Gush Etzion. The government removed this clause.
Outside the Knesset, Yesha Council leaders demonstratively ripped up a copy of the 100-page bill.
Knesset Votes 59-40 For Disengagement
22:05 Feb 16, '05 / 7 Adar 5765
(IsraelNN.com) Knesset members endorsed the disengagement bill on its third and final reading by a 59-40 majority. United Torah Judaism's five MKs did not vote.
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Knesset members are preparing for the next test for the government, a vote on the 2005 budget. Sharon is trying to organize a coalition that will pass the fiscal plan by March 31, the last date the government can remain in power without a budget.
Israel Publishes Names Of 500 Prisoners to Be Freed
22:23 Feb 16, '05 / 7 Adar 5765
(IsraelNN.com) Israel today released the names of 500 prisoners scheduled for release next week. The list was published to allow time for court appeals. Several of the prisoners were involved in terrorist attacks but were not considered to be directly responsible for killings. The cabinet stipulated that those with "blood on their hands" may not be freed.
Included in the list are Amjad Bahti, who was sentenced to 46 months for trying to plant a bomb, and Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade member Mahdi A-Rahim. He was imprisoned for 52 months two years ago for shooting at Israeli soldiers.
How will Peres respond?
Do you know when the pullout will happen?
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