57 MKs Vow to Vote Against Evacuation-compensation Bill

MK Meir Porush: If the bill passes, it will generate an unprecedented surge of settlement.

Fifty-seven MKs vowed to vote against a bill legislating compensation for settlers who choose to leave their homes east of the separation fence before a final-status agreement is signed with the Palestinians, according to a petition presented to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Wednesday.

MK Meir Porush (United Torah Judaism), who initiated the drive, said he had obtained oral obligations from other MKs, who told him they would vote against the bill if and when it comes before the plenum.

"I gave Olmert the list now, when U.S. President George W. Bush is visiting, to tell the president that this law, even if it passes, would not make people leave Judea and Samaria," Porush told Haaretz. "On the contrary, it will generate a massive and unprecedented surge of settlement. World Jewry will step in to buy out the houses of those few who would want to leave."

He added: "For every family who chooses to leave, we will have two others coming in to fulfill the mitzvah of settling the Land of Israel."

The document, which Porush authored, reads: "Calling for settlers to leave their homes for financial compensation is not something we are willing to accept in this stage of negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, even those among us who are in principle willing to make a territorial compromise in the framework of a future agreement."