'Golan Referendum' Bill Readied for Final Two Knesset Readings

A bill requiring a national referendum, general elections or a two-thirds majority vote by Knesset members for approval of the concession of any Israeli land is ready for the next two rounds of Knesset voting, which will decide whether it turns into law.

A special Knesset committee responsible for the bill finished preparing it for its second and third readings yesterday, following a marathon session over the summer recess.

MK David Tal (Kadima), who heads the committee and initiated the summer meetings, said yesterday he would bring the bill to a committee vote in two weeks, and to the Knesset plenum as soon as the winter session opens, on October 26.

The Knesset is considered likely to pass the proposal, which has come to be known as the "referendum law."

Former MK Avigdor Yitzhaki, also of Kadima, spearheaded the bill, and Tal pushed the proposal forward after Yitzhaki's resignation from the Knesset, last February. The bill is generally associated with the Golan Heights, whose return Syria has repeatedly demanded from Israel, since the bill is backed by the Golan lobby. But if passed, the law would apply to all sovereign Israeli territory, including East Jerusalem, and to any exchange of land.