Saturday April 19th 2014

Netanyahu Prevents Vote on Migron Law

by Eitan Abadi

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu (Likud) instructed the Ministerial Law Committee Sunday morning not to vote on a bill that would prevent the demolition of endangered Jewish communities in Israel’s disputed heartland.

The legislation, known as the Migron Law as its early passage would prevent the demolition of the Migron village scheduled to take place by March of 2012, had been delayed by the cabinet two weeks ago.

Member of Knesset Zevulun Orlev (Jewish Home), who sponsored the bill, told journalists on Sunday that Netanyahu apparently knows that the bill has the support of a majority of the committee’s members, and therefore wants to avoid a vote.

Orlev repeated previous warnings that he and other members of his three man faction intend to leave the government if Migron is destroyed. Such a move would “send shockwaves through the coalition,” he said.

If the Jewish Home party bolts the coalition, analysts say a domino effect could cause other lawmakers to rebel, including several Likud members fighting to save Migron.

Orlev said that Netanyahu would have nothing to gain by forcing the Jewish Home faction to leave his coalition and showing his determination to destroy Migron.

“It will be very hard for the Prime Minister to claim that the Jewish Home is an extremist party,” he added.

Senior Likud ministers Michael Eitan, Benny Begin and Dan Meridor came out strongly against Orlev’s bill at Sunday morning’s cabinet meeting, calling on Netanyahu to demolish Migron in accordance with the orders of the Supreme Court.

Begin claimed that passage of the bill would ruin the chances of reaching a compromise with the villagers of Migron, according to which they would consent to relocating their homes to recognized site not far from the original one.

The same three ministers last year opposed the establishment of commissions of inquiry into sources of funding for anti-Zionist political organizations now known to be on the payroll of the European Union.

Two of these organizations, Peace Now and Yesh Din, were responsible for initially bringing the case against Migron to the Supreme Court.