Speaking to Israel’s Army Radio in advance of the Wednesday Knesset vote on the “Regulatory law” which has been rocking local politics, Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Ya’alon compared the dilemma between the evacuation of Jewish homes and enacting retroactive legislation to circumvent the High Court’s ruling to a choice between eating a Neveila and a Treifa (two different kinds of kosher animals which, because of the manner of their death, are prohibited to eat).
Both versions of the proposed regulatory bill introduce the concept of a statute of limitation on Arab lawsuits against Jewish settlers, ensuring that after a certain period of time homes would not demolished, regardless of the veracity of the claims by the original owner, and said owner would receive full market value for his property, or an equivalent parcel of land.
“We tried to find a solution. We realized that we cannot use acquisition and similar solutions. We are now in a complex dilemma,” Ya’alon said.
Ya’alon explained that the Likud is facing two problematic choices: “On the one hand, we can’t ignore the High Court, on the other hand we have given our commitment to the residents.”
Ya’alon added that “there are those out there with populist slogans. We need to decide if we’re going to support a dangerous legislation.”
Ya’alon said that according to his own understanding of the proposed law, it might be disqualified as unconstitutional because it would be the first time Israel will have enacted a law to be enforced in Judea and Samaria, without initial legislation to assert its ownership over those territories.
“It could well be that the law is passed, then disqualified – and then we’ll be destroying homes,” Ya’alon cautioned. “We’ll end up eating the rotten fish and getting thrown out of town.”
Regarding his own opposition to the regulatory law, Ya’alon explained that “when I realized that we must choose between eating a Neveila or a Treifa, I saw that the best way would be to try and formulate the answer the Prime Minister has offered – which is better than the birds in the tree the legislation is promising.”
Prime Minister Netanyahu’s solution involves physically relocating the five offending houses of Ulpana Hill to an abandoned military base a kilometer away.
Like Ya’alon, Housing and Construction Minister Ariel Atias (Shas), told the Army Radio that his party would toe the line and not vote for the proposed regulatory law, thus disappointing many right-wing MKs.
“We won’t vote against the coalition’s position, and we won’t support the regulatory law, certainly our ministers won’t,” Attias insisted. “We’re not about to stir up a coalition crisis over this issue.”
Attias added that in a coalition government with 40 ministers, the other coalition MKs don’t stand a chance in a dispute with Netanyahu. “You neutralize 40 ministers, that’s it, the law doesn’t pass,” he said.
According to protocol, a vote against the Prime Minister’s directive by a government minister is grounds for dismissal.
It is not yet clear whether Netanyahu will impose “coalition discipline” in tomorrow’s vote, forcing his own Likud faction members to vote according to party line. This may prove necessary, as currently coalition whip Ze’ev Elkin is closely associated with MKs who are proposing the new legislation, as is Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin.
The daily Ma’ariv reported Tuesday that Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman and the rest of the Israel Beiteinu faction ministers will also oppose the law.