Leaders Fear Livni will Torpedo Levy Report
Many Land of Israel activists and MKs have publicly expressed concern over Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s decision to give Hatnua head Tzipi Livni control of the diplomatic process. Less attention has been paid to a second concern: that as Justice Minister, Livni will bury the Levy Report.
Sources close to the Israeli leadership in Judea and Samaria (Shomron) told Army Radio (Galei Tzahal) that leaders are more concerned about Livni as Justice Minister than about Livni as chief negotiator.
Livni met with Israeli leaders in Judea and Samaria on Tuesday. The meeting focused on topics pertaining to Israeli life in the region; further details were not released.
The groundbreaking Levy Report found that Israel’s communities in Judea and Samaria are legal under international law. The report further found that in cases where Palestinian Authority resident Arabs claim ownership of land used for Jewish homes, the matter should be resolved in court, with the Jewish homeowner paying compensation if it is found that he or she unwittingly built on Arab land.
The suggested approach would be a welcome change from the current favored approach for Israelis living in Judea and Samaria. Currently most such land claims are solved by the government’s agreement to raze Jewish homes, whether or not the PA Arab claims have been proven in court.
Livni opposes the existence of Israeli communities outside the “settlement bloc” regions – areas that are near to the 1949 armistice line and in which Israelis are the clear demographic majority. She joined the Kadima party when its stated goal was to demolish all Israeli outposts and other small Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria in a voluntary withdrawal similar to the 2005 Disengagement from Gaza.
As Justice Minister, she is expected to strongly oppose the implementation of the Levy Report, which is expected to reduce the frequency of home demolitions.
Minister Uzi Landau (Likud Beytenu) indicated this week that nationalists’ fears for the Levy Report were what Netanyahu was hoping to see when he offered Livni the Justice Ministry. Concerns for the fate of the report may spur the Jewish Home party to enter the government in order to be better positioned to stop Livni, he explained.