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MK Arieh Eldad
Photo: Gil Yohanan
'Jerusalem bill' up for debate
Ministerial Legislation Committee gears to review National Union bill aiming to cement Jerusalem's status as 'united capital of the Jewish people and the State of Israel'

A storm in the making? The Ministerial Committee on Legislation is set to debate the "Jerusalem bill" which aims to officially declare Jerusalem as the "united capital of the Jewish people and the State of Israel."

 

MK Arieh Eldad (National Union), who brought the bill before the committee, said it aims to "fight anyone who question's Jerusalem affiliation with the Jewish people."

 

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Jerusalem is already defined as Israel's capital according to Israeli law, but Eldad asserts that "in a time when some people advocate making Jerusalem the capital of Palestine, an international capital or other such nonsense, we think there's a place to declare it as the capital of only one people and one county. It has never been anything else."

 

The bill was backed by MK Zevulun Orlev (Habayit Hayehudi) and according to its brief it aspires to amend Basic Law – Jerusalem, Capital of Israel. Israel's Basic Laws are slated to be a key component in the country's future constitution.

 

The religious parties in the Knesset traditionally vote against Basic Laws, so the two decided to promote the bill as private legislation.

 

"This bill aims to duly express Jerusalem's pivotal role in the lives of the Jewish people and the State of Israel and bolster the Jewish people's hold on a united Jerusalem," the legislation's brief read.

 

"This legislation is mostly declarative, but sometimes, declarations are very important." Eldad said.

 

As for whether it is prudent to promote what is likely to be a highly controversial bill at a politically sensitive time for Israel on an international level, Eldad said: "My next legislation will probably focus on barring the use of clichés like 'a sensitive time.' I can’t remember any time that wasn’t sensitive for us. The situation here is always volatile."

 

 

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