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August 20, 2012

American Jewish Leaders Urge Israeli PM to Sign Levy Report

http://www.jewishjournal.com/blog/item/american_jewish_leaders_urge_israeli_pm_to_sign_levy_report_20120820/

ZOA board members are among the sixty-five American Jewish leaders who signed a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urging him to adopt the findings of the Levy Report, which asserts that the “settlements” in Judea and Samaria are legal in accordance with international law. Click here to read the ZOA statement in support of the Levy Report.

The report, which was authored by a panel of renowned Israeli jurists comprised of Supreme Court justice Edmond Levy, former Foreign Ministry legal adviser Alan Baker, and former deputy president of the Tel Aviv District Court Tehiya Shapira, recommends against the future demolition of communities that had been deemed to be “illegal outposts.”

The letter endorsing the Levy Report, which was spearheaded by Rabbi Pesach Lerner, Executive Vice President, Emeritus of the National Council of Young Israel, is signed by dozens of prominent Jewish leaders from across the United States, with additional people joining in support of the letter daily. The Shomron Liaison Office has initiated a petition to back this effort.

“As the Levy Report correctly notes, Israel is not engaged in ‘military occupation’ in relation to the communities in Judea and Samaria,” the American Jewish leaders wrote in their letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu. 

“We believe that this conclusion vindicates the Israeli government, which has been unjustifiably vilified by many in the international community, simply because there are Jews living in this particular area of the Jewish State.”

“Like you, we recognize and respect the fact that the Jewish people have inalienable rights to the land of Israel which stem from the Bible, and we are familiar with the historic legacy of the movement of Ze’ev Jabotinsky, Menachem Begin, and Herut/Likud, which you now lead, that has long endorsed Jewish rights in the entirety of the land of Israel,” continued the Jewish leaders. 

“Viewing it from this perspective, the Levy Report confirms what we all know to be true and just, and it certainly warrants your support and endorsement.”

In addition to expressing their staunch support of the Levy Report, the American Jewish leaders urged Prime Minister Netanyahu to reject the claims about the report that were set forth in a recent letter organized by the Israel Policy Forum.

“In our opinion, the individuals who have urged you not to accept the findings of the Levy Report under the pretext that Israel’s status as a Jewish and democratic state could somehow be compromised by its adoption are doing a disservice to the State of Israel,” the American Jewish leaders wrote in their letter to the Prime Minister. “Despite assertions to the contrary, the conclusions of the Levy Report do not ‘place…the prestige of Israel as a democratic member of the international community, in peril.’ We categorically reject this absurd declaration and sincerely hope and pray that you do the same.”

Click here to read the letter and sign the petition.

Learn more about Judea & Samaria, and have a lot of fun in the process, by joining the ZOA at its Sept. 10 mega event “A Taste of Judea & Samaria” featuring wine tastings from the region and guest speakers offering an insider’s view into one of the most misunderstood and misrepresented regions in Israel.

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