Israel’s Netanyahu Vetoes Controversial Jerusalem Bill

Can Israeli politicians prevent a divided capital?

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has used his veto powers to strike down a proposed bill that would have made the division of Jerusalem “nearly impossible.”

As it stands today, the 1980 Jerusalem Law—amended in 2000—states, “No authority that is stipulated in the law of the State of Israel or of the Jerusalem Municipality may be transferred either permanently or for an allotted period of time to a foreign body, whether political governmental or to any other similar type of foreign body.”

But here is the catch: There is no provision about amending the law. Hence, in a future peace deal this law could be altered or done away with by a simple majority of just 61 legislators (members of the Knesset). Doing so would give peace negotiators the ability to offer part of the city to the Palestinians.

The bill would have seen the required majority rise to 80—a near-unobtainable number in Israel’s diverse political system.

Education Minister Naftali Bennett’s Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) Party created the bill. Bennett said the bill was to “unify Jerusalem forever.” But after striking the bill from Sunday’s agenda, Netanyahu claimed that the Home Party had not consulted other members of the coalition before creating the bill.

Politicking aside, the drafting of the bill shows one thing: Conservatives are worried.

Bennett and his far-right allies have not been shy regarding the bill and its purposes. In a statement last week, Bennett said, “Reaching a majority of 80 M.K.s in order to divide Jerusalem is impossible and has no feasibility in the Knesset, which is why this law is so important.”

Bennett also noted: “Twice in the last 15 years, we were a hair’s breadth away from giving away the Temple Mount, Mount of Olives, City of David and three quarters of the Old City to the Palestinians in the time of [former prime ministers] Barak and Olmert.”

For most Israeli politicians in the coalition, Jerusalem is not up for negotiation. Despite vetoing Bennett’s bill, Netanyahu would never consider willingly dividing the city.

If only Donald Trump thought the same way.

Since his inauguration, Trump’s Israel policies have morphed to the point where they bear almost all the hallmarks of his predecessor, Barack Obama. Trump refused to condone new Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank. Then he put the move of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem on ice.

Now Trump has sent his son-in-law Jared Kushner to Israel to rekindle the peace process. As Trump hails the negotiation as the “deal of deals,” many—including the Trumpet—are wondering what he may do to secure the peace and crown himself with the illustrious title of “dealer of dealers.”

Bennett and his allies are probably wondering too, hence we see them trying to lock down Jerusalem before it’s too late.

Ultimately, the Trumpet forecasts, Bennett’s efforts will fail. Jerusalem will be divided. The increasing pressure from the United Nations, a weakening America, mounting tensions with the Palestinians, and an encroaching Iran on the doorstep—these are the issues playing directly into a Jerusalem-splitting prophecy found in the book of Zechariah.

In March 2006, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry elaborated on how it would come about:

It seems the Palestinians could get East Jerusalem, minus the Temple Mount, without a fight. Zechariah’s prophecy implies that there will be an impasse over the Temple Mount—which the Palestinians “resolve” by taking East Jerusalem by force. That is why I believe the conservatives could regain control in Israel. They have a stronger will to fight for the land they believe belongs to the Jews.

At the time Mr. Flurry made this statement, a passive left-wing government was in power. For this prophecy to unfold, he believed conservatives would have to return to power.

This has since happened.

Netanyahu will not accept Palestinian control of the Temple Mount or East Jerusalem through a peace process; neither will Bennett and the orthodox Jews. But they are fighting a prophecy that is backed by the all-powerful God. And the prophecy in Zechariah says that the split will not be a peaceful one—nor will it lead to lasting peace!

Whether the bill ultimately succeeds or fails, half of Jerusalem is going to fall. As Trumpet Jerusalem correspondent Brent Nagtegaal wrote in his article “City of Pieces”:

In 2017, all eyes are going to be on Jerusalem. Zechariah’s prophecy of half of the city falling is a verifiable and highly visible event that sets off a chain reaction of the fulfillment of subsequent prophecies leading to the coming of the Messiah.

To understand in detail the events to follow the fall of East Jerusalem, read Gerald Flurry’s booklet Jerusalem in Prophecy.