The Knesset on Wednesday voted against a bill that would have forbidden negotiations on the status of Jerusalem unless 80 MKs (two-thirds of the Knesset) supported such negotiations.
The promoter of the bill, United Torah Judaism MK Yakov Litzman, hoped that it would have prevented the division of Jerusalem in any future peace agreement with the Palestinians, or, according to some, simply embarrass the ruling coalition, which is heavily stocked with MKs against any territorial compromise with the Palestinians.
In its preliminary reading on Wednesday, only 12 MKs voted in favor of the bill, while 51 MKs voted against it. The supporters of the bill included haredi MKs and only one Likud-Beytenu MK, Moshe Feiglin. The opponents included MKs from Yesh Atid, Hatnuah, and the opposition. Finance Minister Yair Lapid and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni voted against the bill.
All ministers from Likud-Beytenu and Habayit Hayehudi, as well as most MKs from those two factions, were absent during the vote.
Livni called the bill "a cynical attempt to use the most important place for every Jew in the world to embarrass the coalition."
Opposition Leader MK Isaac Herzog (Labor) welcomed the downfall of the bill, saying that, if approved, it would have caused "irreparable damage to Israel's position in the world."