Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Kadima, Meretz and Labor party MKs are in a tizzy over Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s intention to ask the Cabinet to approve part of the Levy Report that declares the legal right of Jews to live everywhere in Judea and Samaria.
The Prime Minister has not denied or confirmed the report, but Likud Knesset Member and Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz said, “This is a great day for settlements in Judea and Samaria."
Barak, a partner in the government coalition but a major thorn in the side of nationalists, declared, “Adopting the Levy Report by the government will cause exactly the opposite of what its supporters want. It will not strengthen settlements in Judea and Samaria but instead wall cause political damage to Israel and deepen its isolation from the rest of the world.”
Meretz chair MK Zahav Gal-On accused Prime Minister Netanyahu of “serving the interests of the extreme right wing and of settlers in order to establish Apartheid” and warned that adopting the Levy report would result in “international sanctions.”
Kadima MK Nachman Shai charged that Prime Minister Netanyahu is “enslaving the future of Israel and its democratic Jewish character for the sake of short-range political objectives, with the sprit of ‘Feiglinism,’” referring to Jewish Leadership faction leader Moshe Feiglin.
MK Katz and colleague MK Danny Danon, head of the World Likud Movement, dismissed Barak’s fears as being nothing but that – fear. Katz told Arutz Sheva that “there is no doubt” that adopting the report will cause a diplomatic conflict, but he added the government is prepared for it and will deal with it at the right time.
"The important issue is there is a fateful decision that is being made, and that is why I call on Yechimovich and Lapid to support the decision. After all, they always claim they are neither left nor right," he said.
Danon said that several key U.S. Congressmen have gone on record as backing the Levy Report and that their support will help the government to convince other countries that the rights of Jews in Judea and Samaria are legitimate.
The United States and most other Western courtiers, particularly the European Union, have ridiculed a Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria, as well as in eastern, southern and northern Jerusalem, as “illegitimate” and “illegal.” The panel of three legal experts, including former High Court Justice Edmund Levy who issued the Levy Report, concluded that a Jewish presence in all of Israel is totally legal.
They provided legal arguments for rejecting the charge that Israel is “occupying” the land that was restored to it in the Six-Day War in 1967.