Jewish Journal

Praise for the Levy Report – and Reality

by Orit Arfa

July 18, 2012 | 7:07 pm

We at the ZOA praise and endorse the Levy Report that has affirmed the legality of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria (and in Gaza, from which Jewish communities were forcibly uprooted in 2005, which the ZOA, alone among major American Jewish organizations, warned against and opposed). The ZOA urges the Knesset to adopt the Levy Report and hence assert Israel’s legal, historical, and ethical rights to Judea & Samaria.

Here are some of the main conclusions of the Levy Report:

“...from the point of view of international law, the classical laws of ‘occupation’ as set out in the relevant international conventions cannot be considered applicable to the unique and sui generis historic and legal circumstances of Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria spanning over decades.”

“ ...the provisions of the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention, regarding transfer of populations, cannot be considered to be applicable and were never intended to apply to the type of settlement activity carried out by Israel in Judea and Samaria.”

“Therefore, according to International law, Israelis have the legal right to settle in Judea and Samaria and the establishment of settlements cannot, in and of itself, be considered to be illegal.”

“With regard to settlements established in Judea and Samaria on state lands or on land purchased by Israelis with the assistance of official authorities such as the World Zionist Organization Settlements Division and the Ministry of Housing, and which have been defined as “unauthorized” or “illegal” due to the fact that they were established without any formal government decision, our conclusion is that the establishment of such settlements was carried out with the knowledge, encouragement and tacit agreement of the most senior political level - government ministers and the Prime Minister, and therefore such conduct is to be seen as implied agreement.”

The ZOA urges Prime Minister Netanyahu not to be bullied into not adopting the report, which was prepared by a highly regarded commission, by groups and individuals who are more concerned with world opinion rather than what is right and true. World opinion will actually sway in Israel’s favor should Israel remain steadfast and consistent in standing up for her rights and in the truth: the Jewish settlements of Judea and Samaria are legal. 

As ZOA National President Mort Klein stated on the ZOA press release: “It is important that a respected legal commission under the chairmanship of one of the Supreme Court’s retired justices has both reaffirmed this truth as well as making recommendations for avoiding in the future the complications and arbitrary procedures whereby Jewish life and construction in Judea and Samaria have become unnecessarily fraught. This situation has helped contribute to the utterly false notion that Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria are both illegal and an obstacle to peace.

“Jewish growth in Judea and Samaria and eastern Jerusalem has a fundamental legitimacy and poses no obstacle to a true peace if Palestinians are ready for one, so the repeated, periodic international calls for a Jewish construction freeze, or even the removal of Jewish communities, would remain inappropriate even if the prospect of genuine peace negotiations with a truly peaceful Palestinian partner were possible.”

“Why may not 300,000 Jews live among 2 million Arabs in Judea and Samaria while 1.2 million Arabs live among 6 million Jews in Israel? No peace can be built on the notion that the biblical, historical and religious heartland of the Jewish people, or any territory for that matter, must be judenrein. For anyone to say that no Jews should live in these territories simply because they are Jews is to endorse a racist, anti-Semitic policy.”

So what (and where?) is all of this about? Come see for yourself with the ZOA and One Israel Fund’s amazing tourism to Judea & Samaria. Let the land itself speak for itself! Join us from Dec. 24, 2012 - Jan. 1, 2013. Find out more at www.visityesh.com.

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