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Statement on the Regulation Bill

The Zionist Federation of Australia acknowledges widespread concern at the passage of the Regulation Law by Israel’s Knesset (Parliament). Following the passage of the Law many people have expressed doubts about Israel’s commitment to a negotiated resolution to the conflict.

The Law seeks to resolve disputes between Palestinian landowners and Israelis who settled in the territories captured by Israel during the 1967 Six Day War with Jordan and four other Arab nations. It does so by making provision for the compulsory acquisition of land on which some 4000 Israeli homes have been built and the payment of compensation in the form of an annual rental of 125 per cent of the land’s value as determined by an assessment committee for renewable periods of 20 years, or an alternate plot of land if this is possible.

Nevertheless, its passage is seen by many as a retrograde step in keeping alive any prospect of a negotiated peace and the realisation of long standing Israeli commitment to the resolution of the conflict with the establishment of a peaceful Palestinian State.

The Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit was opposed to the passage of the Law and he and other Israeli legal experts have indicated their strong view that the Law breaches Israel’s Constitution in the form of its Basic Law and will not survive an anticipated challenge to Israel’s Supreme Court.  The Attorney General has already said that he will not defend the Law in Court.

President of the ZFA Dr Danny Lamm said “Whatever else might be said about this issue, the principle barrier to a peaceful resolution is the Palestinian refusal to negotiate. Israel has repeatedly demonstrated its willingness to trade land for peace even where established Israeli communities have been uprooted as a result.  The ZFA is extremely proud of the system of checks and balances that operate within Israel’s thriving democracy which include strict adherence to the rule of law.  Issues in the disputed territories remain to be solved in a way that is consistent with Israel and her neighbours living in peace and security and a negotiated permanent resolution to the conflict.”