MK Yariv Levin (Likud) asked Justice Minister Ya’akov Ne’eman Sunday to immediately appoint a new team of experts to re-evaluate the claims of the Sasson Report on "illegal outposts," which Defense Minister Ehud Barak cited in explaining his decision to tear down outposts in Judea and Samaria.
“The Sasson Report caused Israel grave international damage which can only be repaired by carrying out a new evaluation and publishing a corrected, matter-of-fact report that fits the facts as they are on the ground,” Levin said, commenting that “The Likud government cannot turn itself into a contractor for carrying out the Left’s aspirations.”
Atty. Talia Sasson (L), MK Yariv Levin
The Sasson Report is an official Israeli government paper from 2005 that was authored by then-head of the State Prosecutor's Criminal Department, Talia Sasson. The report claimed that the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Housing and Construction and the World Zionist Organization were diverting millions of shekels to build “illegal outposts” in Judea and Samaria.
After leaving government service, Sasson joined the radical Meretz party and was positioned in the seventh slot on its Knesset list in the last elections. She vowed to “keep on fighting against the outposts” from the Knesset if elected, but Meretz only received three seats.
MK Levin demanded that the new team be “independent and balanced” and that it be authorized to review any problems that exist with regard to “the so-called outposts” and find ways of solving them. At the same time, Levin contended, “the findings of the report by Attorney Sasson should be reviewed in a way that provides them with a fitting legal answer and that will prevent the ongoing damage to Israel that the said report is causing.”
“Attorney Sasson, a candidate on [the leftwing] Meretz’s Knesset list, exposed herself as a political person from the extreme Left,” Levin explained. The report she penned is "tendentious," he added, and "aims to destroy the settlement project.”
The political Left, said Levin, has lost the battle for political opinion, and is now “trying to advance its views through coercion by presenting supposed legal opinions through lawyers who represent the marginal Left, like Attorney Sasson.”
Minister of Science, Rabbi Prof. Daniel Hershkowitz, said at Sunday’s cabinet session that “if you look at the outposts, you’ll see that their classification as illegal was made by Talia Sasson, who is not exactly an objective source. Often, the only reason for an outpost’s classification as illegal is not because of the residents themselves, but because of a technical government problem, and there is truly no legal problem at all.”