RAMALLAH, Nov 23 (JMCC) - The Syrian Foreign Ministry has totally rejected the new Israeli bill which would bring any withdrawal from the Golan Heights or East Jerusalem
to a public vote. The bill effectively creates another obstacle for Palestinian statehood: any new land-for-peace deal could be jettisoned by Israeli voters.
Conceived by Israeli President Benyamin Netanyahu
and passed Monday by a 65-33 vote in Knesset
, the National Referendum Bill
was called by Saeb Erekat
an Israeli attempt to veil its oppression of the Palestinian people as an exercise of Israeli democracy.
Echoing statements made by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas
, Erekat, and Israeli Knesset member Jamal Zahalka, the Syrian ministry announced
Knesset's decision to pass the bill makes a mockery of international
law. The international community considers east Jerusalem and the Syrian
Golan Heights to be occupied territories.
The two Arab leaders were not the only ones to criticize the bill; Defense Minister Ehud Barak said it would likely be used by Israel's enemies as proof that it is averse to advancing the Middle East peace process.Read more
A Palestinian state is in Israel's clear interest, Barak said. This [law] won't do anybody any good. We must get pass the obstacle of settlement freeze, because is a weak point for Israel that cannot be explained to the world.