The cabinet on Sunday voted to approve negotiations with the Palestinians including the release of 104 Palestinian terrorists in stages over the next nine months as part of diplomatic negotiations.Was that by any chance a trick used to ensure that the motion for releasing jihadists would be approved? I have no idea. What's clear is that Netanyahu has otherwise disrespected the wishes of the public, 84 percent of whom oppose releasing terrorists. And Nadav Shragai's correct that the Islamofascists only see this as a victory for them, and defeat for us.
The measure passed at the end of a nearly six hour cabinet meeting by the vote of 13-7, with two abstentions.
The ministers voting against included Likud ministers Gilad Erdan and Yisrael Katz, Yisrael Beytenu ministers Yair Shamir and Uzi Landau, and Bayit Yehudi ministers Naftali Bennett, Uri Ariel and Uri Orbach. Likud ministers Silvan Shalom and Limor Livnat abstained.
Those who voted for the proposal were Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Yuval Steinitz, Moshe Ya'alon and Gideon Sa'ar from the Likud, Sofa Landver and Yitzhak Aharonovitch from Yisrael Beytenu, Yesh Atid's Yair Lapid, Yael German, Yaakov Peri, Shai Piron, Meir Cohen, and Hatnua's Tzipi Livni, and Amir Peretz.
"This moment is not easy for me, for the ministers, and especially not for the bereaved families, whom I understand very well," Netanyahu said during the cabinet meeting. "But there are times when difficult decisions must be made for the good of the state, and this is one of those times."
The cabinet on Sunday also approved the draft of a bill mandating a national referendum if an accord with the Palestinians is reached that necessitates withdrawals from part of Jerusalem or land swaps. The bill will be brought to the Knesset for a vote on Wednesday.
"Any agreement, if it is achieved in negotiations, will be brought as a referendum. It is important that every citizen will directly vote on fateful decisions like these that determine the future of the state," Netanyahu said during the meting.
The only two ministers to oppose the bill were Livni and Peretz.
Update: see also Jonathan Tobin's excellent points on the issue.