The Jerusalem Post

Levy freezes West Bank annexation bill

Knesset speaker cites Eid al-Adha as reason for veto bringing legislatio­n to plenum


A bill calling for the annexation of Judea and Samaria that would have humiliated Prime Minister Naftali Bennett will not come to a vote in the Knesset plenum this week due to Knesset Speaker Mickey Levy’s insistence on staying out of controvers­y during the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha.

The bill, sponsored by Likud MK Miki Zohar, will come to a vote in the Ministeria­l Committee on Legislatio­n on Monday. The coalition will vote against the bill, despite the strong support for annexation on the part of Bennett (Yamina) and the committee’s chairman, Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar (New Hope).

Zohar wanted to bring the bill to a vote in the Knesset on Wednesday, but Levy vetoed any bill that does not have the backing of both the coalition and the opposition. Another bill that has been curtailed by the Muslim holiday, sponsored by Likud MK Ofir Katz, would make it easier to disqualify Arab Knesset candidates by widening the criteria of “supporting terror.”

On the coalition side, New Hope chairwoman Sharren Haskel will bring to the ministeria­l committee her bill to enable civil marriage and divorces in embassies and consulates. But the controvers­ial bill will not be brought to the Knesset yet.

Bill authorizin­g egalitaria­n prayer at Kotel proposed by coalition MK,

Levy made the decision at the request of Ra’am (United Arab List) head Mansour Abbas, who is deputy Knesset Speaker and wants a week without political discord to enable his faction’s MKs to observe their holiday. Abbas also decided to end a shortlived crisis over Jews visiting the Temple Mount on Tisha Be’av for the same reason.

After initially sharply condemning renegade Yamina MK Amichai Chikli for singing “Hatikvah” on the holy site and making his wrath clear to Bennett’s associates, Abbas decided not to further pursue his protest.

“Ra’am has no interest in destabiliz­ing the coalition,” a source close to Bennett said. “The crisis is behind us.”

Only next week will controvers­ial legislatio­n return, including the annexation bill, and then Haskel’s cannabis decriminal­ization bill, which she postponed at Abbas’s

The flows on it, instead of being absorbed. This is something that in Israel we see frequently.

“The East Mediterran­ean region is perhaps the most rapidly warming-up area in the world,” Adam said.

He said Israel is seeing a rise in temperatur­es, and that today the climatic conditions in Hadera are the same as the ones in Beersheba 20 years ago. “The trend is expected to continue and reach farther north.”

Adam said the most conservati­ve estimates suggest that Israel has experience­d a 0.2-degree increase per decade.

While no clear trends in terms of annual rainfall have emerged, the scientist also pointed out that Israel is just a very limited territory in a vaster region, whose precipitat­ion can be affected by several factors including the proximity to the coast and the presence of mountain ranges.

“We have to look at the broader Middle East to see what is happening.”

Asked about how Israel is responding to the challenges posed by global warming, Adam remarked that in certain perspectiv­es, the country is incredibly advanced.

“Thanks to its desalinati­on technology, Israel has no shortage of water,” he said. “If it wasn’t for it, our situation would be a disaster. In addition, Israel is a leader in other fields, for example in agritech. We can just think of its drip irrigation system.”

On the other hand, there are fronts where the nation remains behind.

“While we have some of the best scientists, the infrastruc­ture and the academic infrastruc­ture are very behind,” he said. “Currently there is not even an institutio­n in the country that is capable of running the most modern climate models, including the Israel Meteorolog­ical Service.” •

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