The Jerusalem Post reports: Minister Silvan Shalom said Friday that no Israeli prime minister would be able to implement a peace agreement with the Palestinians if a referendum on the issue showed that a majority of Israelis supported such a deal and that outcome had been decided by non-Jewish citizens of the state.
Speaking to Israel Radio, the former foreign and finance minister said that the definition of what constitutes a majority in such a referendum should be determined in advance, as it would complicate matters if the outcome of the vote ran contrary to the wishes of the majority of Israel’s Jewish citizens.
Meanwhile, the New York Times reports: The United Nations human rights chief, Navi Pillay, urged Israel to reconsider legislation that could lead to the demolition of Bedouin villages in the Negev desert, asserting that Israel was actively pursuing discriminatory policies by forcibly displacing its Arab citizens.
“I am alarmed that this bill, which seeks to legitimize forcible displacement and dispossession of indigenous Bedouin communities in the Negev, is being pushed through the Knesset,” Ms. Pillay, the United Nations high commissioner for human rights, said in a statement released in Geneva on Thursday. The measure would likely result in the demolition of up to 35 Bedouin villages and the eviction of 30,000 to 40,000 Bedouin Arabs from ancestral lands and homes, she said.