Knesset Advances Bill to Make Jerusalem Capital of the Jewish People

Lawmakers approve preliminary reading of amendment in vote of 58-12; MK Vilan: Bill is complete nonsense.

The Knesset on Wednesday approved in a preliminary reading an amendment to the Basic Law whereby Jerusalem would be considered not just the capital of Israel, but the capital of the Jewish people.

The amendment was submitted by the chairman of the National Unity - National Religious Party. It won coalition support and was passed by a majority of 58 to 12.

"There is the Jerusalem of citizens and the Jerusalem of above, which we want all Jews to see as their home," Orlev said of the amendment.

MK Avhsalom Vilan, who voted against the bill, called it "complete nonsense" and said he worried it would cause the collapse of the peace process.

"We're lying to ourselves for political reasons to make it impossible to reach a political solution in Jerusalem," he said. Vilan was referring to a right-wing proposal to include Jews from around the world in the decision-making process over Jerusalem.

"Jerusalem will be the capital of the Palestinian state also," he said.