Why Ha'aretz columnist Gideon Levy should be fired

To Levy, the killing of a Jewish baby is not a national tragedy because he claims that the baby's "settler" parents will use it to advance their goals.

Yochanan Visser

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Gideon Levy

On Sunday, Ha’aretz columnist Gideon Levy crossed all red lines when he wrote he “could not feel the most humane sense of solidarity and pain” after Palestinian terrorists killed a newborn baby and tried to do the same with his pregnant mother just because they were Jewish “settlers”.

In his article, he accused the “settlers” of being “robbers” and “violators of international law and universal justice” and of “bringing tragedy upon themselves and the entire country.”

Writing about Jews living in Judea and Samaria, or the so-called 'West Bank,' Levy wrote this:

“They are there, generations born on stolen land, children raised in an apartheid existence and trained to think it is biblical justice, and with government support.”

He then added: ”Perhaps we cannot blame those who are sitting on land usurped by their parents. But their tragedy is not ours because they exploit every tragedy to advance their aims in the most cynical of ways.”

Got it? The killing of an Israeli baby is not a national tragedy because his parents allegedly exploit the tragedy to advance their aims.

Levy, furthermore, accused the Israeli media of “a fake show of national grief to advance its own commercial goals” after the murder of Israel Amiad, the yet unborn baby, who was shot when his pregnant mother waited with her husband on a bus stop near Ofra in Samaria.

After listing a number of crimes Israel supposedly committed in Judea and Samaria, Levy accused his fellow Israelis of “moral blindness to everything”.

In fact, it’s the other way around.

Levy accused his fellow Israelis of “moral blindness to everything.” In fact, it’s the other way around.
Levy, who lives in Ramat Aviv in a neighborhood that sits on land that once belonged to Palestinian Arab village of Sheikh Munis (sic), is the one who’s suffering from a severe form of moral blindness while he apparently doesn’t have a clue about international law or about what’s going on in Judea and Samaria or ‘West Bank’.

Let’s take a look at his claim that ‘settlers’ are “robbers” and “violators of international law and universal justice”.

In reality, as countless experts on international law – among them, the late Professor Julius Stone in his book Assault on the Law of Nations - have pointed out Israel has the better claim on the disputed territories in the so-called 'West Bank.'

If Israel would have occupied the territory of a so-called high contracting party, the situation would be different.

However, Israel seized Judea and Samaria from Jordan in a war of self-defense after Egypt committed an act of war prior to the Six Day War.

Jordan was a real illegal occupier and the only international law which defined the status of these territories is still the resolution adopted by the League of Nations in 1922 which included the full text of the Balfour Declaration. 

That resolution confirmed the right of Jews to settle in all of the land west and east of the Jordan River.

Opponents of the Israeli presence in Judea and Samaria always point to the Fourth Geneva Convention to support their claim that Israeli Jews have no right under international law to settle in the area.

They conveniently ignore two rulings by the Israeli High Court of Justice in 1978 and 1979 which said the Geneva Conventions could not be applied by Israeli courts on land and settlement issues in the occupied territories since the Israeli government had not forcefully transferred the population to Judea and Samaria.

Then there is Levy’s claim that there’s an “Apartheid existence” in the 'West Bank' where his maligned ‘settlers’ do not show “any interest in the suffering of their Palestinian neighbors.”

As somebody who has lived for more than ten years in the Gush Etzion area, I can testify that Levy is distorting the truth.

Has he ever paid a visit to the many workplaces where Palestinian Arabs and Israeli Jews are working together, such as the Rami Levy supermarket at the main junction along road 60 in Gush Etzion? Does he know how much, for example, Efrat’s Chief Rabbi Shlomo Riskin has done for surrounding Palestinian Arab communities?

Levy could learn a lot from Amichai and Shira Ish-Ran who on Sunday evening said that their baby managed in the three short days he lived, “to do more than others could in an entire lifetime.”

“Israel Amiad united the people of Israel,” they said and they were right. 

Gideon Levy, on the other hand, is sowing the seeds of hatred and uses a Der Sturmer-type dehumanization of Israeli Jews to make his point and Ha’aretz is complicit in this dangerous incitement.

The Talmud in tractate Peah 1:1 states that Lashon Hara (evil speech) is equivalent to murder.

By indulging in this type of Lashon Hara, Levy is effectively saying that it’s okay to murder Jews who choose to live in the center of their ancestral homeland.

He is not a journalist but a propagandist and if Ha'aretz wants to deserve the title 'newspaper,' he should be denied the ability to publicize his vicious incitement on its pages.

The writer is a veteran Middle East correspondent who worked for the Arizona-based Western Journal and is currently an analyst for Israel Today and Arutz 7