Netanyahu defends voting down ´Ulpana bill´ (YNetNews.Com -Yedioth Internet) Attila Somfalvi Published: 06.06.12, 16:54)
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Prime minister holds special press conference following settlement
regulation bill´s failure to pass Knesset vote. ´Gov´t must abide by
court ruling,´ he says; ´This is best for settlement movement´
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a special press conference
Wednesday following the Knesset´s vote on the settlement regulation
The legislation, which was meant to circumvent the High Court´s
ruling and prevent the eviction of Beit El´s Ulpana neighborhood, was
voted down 69:22.
"Israel is a law-abiding democracy. As the prime minister, I am
obligated to both adhere to the High Court´s orders and maintain the
settlement movement. That is not mutually exclusive," Netanyahu told
"Passing this bill would have hurt Beit El. The plan I outlined –
relocating the disputed homes, bolstering the settlement movement and
providing legal protection against legal precedents – reinforces the
"Nevertheless, this is not an easy day. The decision to relocate
homes is never an easy one, even when only five homes are involved.
This is not something the government relishes doing, but the court
has rendered its ruling and we must respect it.
"Those who think the legal system was used to ram the settlement
movement are wrong," he continued. "Beit El is not getting smaller –
it´s getting bigger. Beit El will be expanded, with 300 new families
Netanyahu added: "I have unequivocal legal opinions that say that the
verdict did not set any precedent and will not affect other cases."
He reiterated his intention to head a new ministerial committee that
would deal with settlement affairs, and expressed his gratitude for
the ministers´ support, saying that they "demonstrated great
responsibility at a tough moment. Israel has a responsible leadership.
"To my brothers and sisters in the settlement movement – I understand
your pain. I share it. I want to assure you – no other government
would ever support the settlement movement more than the government I
am leading. No other government has ever had to withstand so much
pressure to hinder the settlement movement.
"We are operating in very complex political, security and legal
realities," he concluded. "We have to be able to navigate these
realities wisely and responsibly… and we will continue to bolster
both the settlement movement and democracy in Israel."
The High Court´s ruling met with fierce objection from the Right,
forcing the prime minister, who opposed the bill, to impose party
discipline to secure the vote. He even threatened to dismiss any
minister who breached party lines.
Settlers were enraged to learn of the vote´s result, promising
a "tsunami of protests." Several clashes were noted outside the
Knesset Plaza on Highway 1´s entrance to Jerusalem. Five right-wing
activists were arrested. (Copyright 2012 © Yedioth Internet 06/06/12)
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