Likud ministers have an obligation to ensure that the Levy Report is approved, says MK Tzipi Hotovely.
In an interview to be published in Friday's Matzav Haruach (State of Mind), Hotovely says, “Ministers who sit in the Ministerial Committee on Settlement Affairs, both from the Jewish Home and the Likud, must take this report and make it written in stone by the Israeli government. Ministers Yisrael Katz, Gilad Erdan and Yuli Edelstein are committed to this report.”
Hotovely notes that "it will be the transformation of the Likud government, if the Likud government tells the public: the settlement is a strategic issue, where we do not settle for a home here and there but are strategically changing the rules of the game.”
The Levy Report concluded that there is no “occupation” and international law allows Jews to live in Judea and Samaria, as its status was not that of a nation in 1967. It was presented to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu this past summer after months of study by former High Court Justice Edmund Levy and two other legal experts.
The conclusions of the report contradicted the view of the international community, strongly supported by the Obama administration, that a Jewish presence in Judea, Samaria and in united Jerusalem is illegal.
Netanyahu effectively shelved the report by setting it aside for further study, but with elections coming up, it was reported on Wednesday that he would recommend that the government adopt part of the recommendations. Reports on Thursday indicated that Netanyahu had given up on this move because the Attorney General opposes it.
"The mere fact that the entire settlement issue is under the Ministry of Defense, is twisted," says Hotovely in Friday’s interview. "The Likud, which supports the settlement, allows a hostile element to implement hostile policies against the Jewish settlement.”
Hotovely leaves no doubt to whom she refers when using the term “hostile element”: Defense Minister Ehud Barak.
"The Minister of Defense is not fit to run things in the settlement area,” she says.”That's why the Prime Minister set up a ministerial committee on settlement affairs, seized a large part of the powers of the Minister of Defense and handed them to the ministerial committee, whose decisions have the authority of a government decision.”
Hotovely adds, "If there is a land dispute in Tel Aviv, and someone says you are not the owner of the house in which you live, a trial is held but during that time you remain in your home. Whoever files the claims against you is the one who needs to prove his claim. Only in Judea and Samaria, if someone challenges against you, you are required to leave your house until the end of the legal proceedings. There’s nothing more absurd than that. The Levy Report says that there will be no more involvement of the Civil Administration. There would be proper conduct when it comes to real estate as there would be anywhere else in the country."