Ulpana Bill Falls, Nationalists in Coalition Cave In (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu 06/06/12)
INN} ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS
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Nationalists in the coalition caved in and abstained from the Knesset
vote Wednesday afternoon that rejected a bill aimed at circumventing
a court order to destroy five residential units in the Ulpana
neighborhood in Beit El and expel their 30 families.
The vote was 22 for the bill and 69 against. Absent from the vote
were all of the ministers and deputy ministers who vowed to test
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s ultimatum to vote against the
bill or be fired.
Among those who left the Knesset before the vote were Jewish Home
leader Daniel Hershkowitz and Likud minister Yuli Edelstein and
deputy minister Ayoub Kara.
Shas ministers also were absent from the vote on the bill, whose
sponsor Knesset Member Zevulun Orlev noted that it was on the same
day seven years ago that the Sharon government approved
the “Disengagement” plan that resulted in the expulsion of more than
9,000 Jews from their homes in Gaza and four northern Samaria
Following the expulsions, which were promoted as guaranteeing peace
and quiet for southern Israel, the government ordered the demolition
of houses and then withdrew all soldiers from the Gaza region.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu pressured nationalist Cabinet
ministers not to vote against the Ulpana demolitions and won the day
after it was clear he had a solid majority and after he made several
concessions to nationalists.
Prime Minister Netanyahu has promised to build 10 new homes for every
one torn down and has won legal approval from the attorney general
for his plan to take down the houses, brick by brick, and rebuild
them nearby on land used by the military.
He also said he will head a new committee on Jewish development in
Judea and Samaria, effectively removing the authority of Defense
Minister Ehud Barak, who has ordered dozens of demolitions of outpost
communities and has blocked Jews from living in homes that were
legally purchased, most recently in Hevron.
Nationalists fear the failure to pass the bill will encourage more
demolitions and expulsions at more communities, such as Migron and
Givat Asaf, where left-wing groups have challenged the legality of
MK Orlev chided Prime Minister Netanyahu for offering to expand
building in Beit El in return for the demolitions. “If the prime
minister wants to expand building, why tie it with this destruction
in the Ulpana neighborhood?” he asked. (IsraelNationalNews © 2012
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