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'NYT': Levy report a potential disaster for peace
By JPOST.COM STAFF
07/11/2012
'New York Times' editorial says report legalizing Israel's occupation is "bad law, bad policy, bad politics."
 
"Palestinian hopes for an independent state are growing dimmer all the time. Israel is pushing ahead with new settlements in the West Bank, and now comes a potentially disastrous blow" The New York Times wrote in an editorial published in the paper on Wednesday.

The editorial referred to the "Levy Report," a report co-authored by retired Supreme Court justice Edmund Levy on legal issues regarding West Bank settlements, as "bad law, bad policy and bad politics."

The editorial was extremely troubled that the report stated that Israel's presence in the West Bank is "not occupation. The commission endorsed the state’s legal right to settle there and recommended that the state approve scores of new Israeli settlements. It proposed stripping the military of its authority to force settlers off land claimed by Palestinians."

"Most of the world views the West Bank, which was taken by Israel from Jordan in the 1967 war, as occupied territory and all Israeli construction there as a violation of international law," states the editorial, noting that "the world court ruled this way in 2004, the Fourth Geneva Convention bars occupying powers from settling their own populations in occupied lands. And UN resolution 242, a core of Middle East policy," calls for Israeli withdrawals from the West Bank.

The Times points out that the report's recommendations "would annul a number of past Israeli Supreme Court rulings and orders, including a 1979 decision forbidding the expropriation of land for 'military needs' when the real goal is settlement construction."

The negative consequences of adopting the report for Israel could be significant, including diverting "attention from Iran just when the world is bearing down with sanctions" to stop Iran's alleged nuclear weapons program.. the Times purports.

Adopting the report would "also draw attention to a dispiriting anomaly: that a state founded as a democratic homeland for the Jewish people is determined to continue ruling 2.5 million Palestinians under an unequal system."

Th editorial concludes by praising the US State Department's criticism of the report and cautioning Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that with Kadima and a larger, less right-wing coalition, he no longer has "excuses" to stop his "counterproductive settlement policy" and for failing to advance a peace agreement with the Palestinians.
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