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Israeli draft law to put all agreements with the Palestinians to a referendum

February 15, 2014 at 1:25 pm

Israeli Economics and Trade Minister, Naftali Bennett, supported by Finance Minister, Yair Lapid, has suggested a draft law that obliges the government to put any political agreements with the Palestinians to a referendum, an Israeli daily said on Sunday.

The Israeli newspaper Maariv revealed that a meeting on the draft law was held between Bennett and Lapid last week.

Bennett began lobbying for the idea inside the government and initially garnered the support of Lapid, however, the latter will have to put it forward for discussions inside his party.

A large number of Knesset members from Lapid’s party do not support Bennett’s draft law. They believe it is an attempt by the rightists to thwart any chance to reach an agreement with the Palestinians.

Bennett stressed that the real aim of this law will prevent any Israeli division on agreements with the Palestinians. Sources in his party expect that the draft law will help Bennett to avoid coming under pressure from settlers to leave the government if Netanyahu signs an agreement with the Palestinians.

The Economics and Trade Minister has been working on making himself effective within the political arena from the first day he became a minister and has continued to meet with foreign ministers to persuade them of the two-state solution.

Maariv reported that Bennett said: “Negotiations with the Palestinians must start from the people. The current idea for the Palestinian state is not viable and if it was established, it would be a failure and aggressive”.

“The time to implement Plan ‘B’ has come. It starts from the people, not from diplomacy and new negotiations. It must start from the bottom up”, he said.