Aerial view of Ariel settlement in West Bank 370.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Right-wing politicians and US Jewish leaders have urged Prime Minister Binyamin
Netanyahu to adopt the Levy Report, which calls for the legalization of
unauthorized Jewish West Bank building on state land.
The calls come in
advance of Tuesday’s Ministerial Committee on Settlements meeting, which is
scheduled to debate the state’s response to three pending High Court of Justice
The subject of these petitions are the Migron outpost; Jewish
presence in the Beit Ezra building in Hebron; and unauthorized construction on
private Palestinian property in the Beit El settlement.
But supporters of
the Levy Report – which Netanyahu commissioned and whose results he published
last month – want the committee to add the report to its agenda. As of Monday
evening, however, the prime minister had yet to cede to that
Energy and Water Minister Uzi Landau (Yisrael Beytenu) sent a
letter to Netanyahu on Monday morning asking him and the committee to approve
the report at Tuesday’s meeting.
In addition, he complained that the
civil administration, with the support of the Attorney-General’s Office,
continues to use legal measures in real estate disputes that the report has
urged the government to repeal.
“We are talking about a severe disruption
of civil and human rights” as well as acts of “discrimination” against Israelis
living in Judea and Samaria, Landau said.
Dani Dayan, who heads the
Council of Jewish Communities of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip, said he
feared the US and the Attorney-General’s Office had pressed Netanyahu not to
advance the report.
“If that is the case, it is a pity, because [the
prime minister] appointed a very serious committee with three prominent jurists.
It is quite inconceivable that the recommendations will not even be discussed,”
Already at the start of the month, 65 American Jewish rabbis,
leaders and activists wrote a letter to Netanyahu in support of the report
penned by former Supreme Court justice Edmond Levy, former Foreign Ministry
legal adviser Alan Baker and former Tel Aviv District Court deputy president
In their letter, the US Jewish leaders said they were
heartened to read the report’s conclusion that the settlements are legal under
“As the Levy Report correctly notes, Israel is not
engaged in ‘military occupation’ in relation to the communities in Judea and
Samaria. 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,” the letter stated.
“It is not the responsibility of the State of
Israel to appease the United Nations or other entities whose interests run
counter to the best interests of the Jewish state.
We know that your
government has not, and will not, mollify those who repeatedly have sought to
delegitimize the State of Israel,” the letter continued.
another group of 40 US Jewish leaders, rabbis and activists urged Netanyahu not
to adopt the report.
Peace Now executive director Yariv Oppenheimer on
Monday said it would be a mistake for the Ministerial Committee on Settlements
to formally adopt the report, which, he charged, “contradicts Israel’s
Separately, Netanyahu has also received pleas
for the committee to support a High Court petition by Migron outpost residents
who say they recently bought the property on which many of the 50 families
They have asked the court to allow those families to remain in
their homes by canceling its order that they evacuate the outpost by August
The committee last month said that the Migron families should be
allowed to stay if the court upheld their purchase claim.
But at a court
hearing on the matter last month, state attorney Osnat Mandel said that
Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein found this opinion legally
The committee plans to convene on Tuesday to review its
opinion on the matter in light of what Weinstein has said.
On Monday a
group of seven national-religious rabbis, including Haim Druckman and Shlomo
Aviner, called on Weinstein to stand behind the committee and support the
petition by the Migron families.
Migron is located in the Binyamin
region, just outside Jerusalem.
Last summer the High Court ruled that the
outpost homes were built without permits on land classified by the state as
belonging to private Palestinians.