Op-Ed: Supreme Court Judge Edmund Levy Would Not Bow Down
Nachi Eyal, Legal ForumThe writer is the Director General of the Legal Forum for Israel.
The Legal Forum for Israel mourns the passing of Supreme Court Judge (ret) Edmund Levy z"l.
Judge Levy was clear voice which would not bow down to the majority in the Supreme Court.
Levy will always be remembered for his brave stance in the protection of the human rights of the residents of Gush Katif even as a heavy-handed government decided to uproot them. Judge Levy represented a minority opinion criticizing the government's decision, claiming it was unconstitutional.
In an uncharacteristic move Judge Levy also referred to the future: the government's decision, and the disengagement, "will lead to hard times, and to the undermining of the Jewish people's right to settle in the land of Israel, and I do not only refer to areas which are under dispute, but to areas where there is consensus within the Israeli public that these areas should be held on to in any future agreement".
Out of his sense of commitment and responsibility to the future of the disputed areas, Judge Levy headed the Commission tasked with examining the legal status of Judea and Samaria. Another member of this committee was the head of the Legal Forum International Action Division, Ambassador Alan Baker, and the Commission concluded that the settlements are legal and the government must take the necessary steps in order to realize the State of Israel's rights in these areas.
Ambassador Baker recalled his meetings with Judge Levy: "I knew Edmond Levy only for a short time - during the deliberations of the Commission which he headed.
During this period of intense work, whether hearing hundreds of witnesses, spending hours of deliberations, having frank discussions among the members of the commission on what to write in the report, I developed a huge respect for Edmund Levy, his wide knowledge and understanding of Israeli, Ottoman , Jordanian and international law - especially in the complex field of land administration.
His sharp sense of humor and calming and patient demeanor, without crises or panics, helped us to work together and produce the Levy Report in record time and to present it to Prime Minister Netanyahu.
Edmund Levy had hoped that the carefully researched and legally sound report bearing his name would be taken up by the government and implemented, with a view to putting the situation of construction in Judea and Samaria into some semblance of legal order.
It is regrettable that the implementation of this Report for no apparent substantive reason is being withheld, rather than being used to solve the complex legal and other issues related to the construction of settlements and building within them".
The Levy Report is a significant document which re-establishes the truth about the Jewish people's rights to their land.