In the predawn hours of Tuesday morning, following a succession of impassioned speeches both for and against, Israel’s Knesset finally voted on and passed the “United Jerusalem Bill.”
The bill is an amendment to the Jerusalem Law passed in 1980, when Israel officially declared the entirety of Jerusalem to be its undivided capital.
This new legislation requires a three-fourths majority of 80 members of Knesset to ever alter the status of Jerusalem or surrender portions of the Holy City as part of a future peace agreement.
Corralling a three-fourths majority for anything in the Israel Knesset is next to impossible, as evidenced by the vote on this very bill.
Sixty-four MKs voted in favor of the bill, 51 voted against and one abstained, despite the fact that the vast majority of Israeli Jews (including members of Knesset) insist that Jerusalem must never again be divided.
The bill’s author, Education Minister Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home) was perfectly aware of what he had done.
“Just now we ensured that Jerusalem will be united forever. We initiated the law that guards Jerusalem so that it cannot be divided without a huge majority of 80 MKs,” Bennett wrote on Facebook.
“The Mount of Olives, the Old City, the Temple Mount and the City of David will remain in our hands forever. There will be no more political maneuvers that will allow to tear our capital apart. This is also Israel’s response to the shameful United Nations vote against Jerusalem. A holiday for Israel!” he continued.
Minister Ze’ev Elkin (Likud) echoed the sentiment on Twitter:
“I congratulate the Knesset on the approval by a large majority of the amendment to the Basic Law: Jerusalem, which strengthens the defensive wall against those on the left who may try to harm Israeli sovereignty in united Jerusalem in the future.”