Judge Edmond Levy Was 'Spot of Light in Darkness'

Eulogies from Israeli leaders praise Levy for report on Judea Samaria legality, opposing Disengagement, and giving the Right a voice.

Ari Yashar ,

אדמונד לוי
אדמונד לוי
צילום: פלאש 90

Eulogies poured in for retired Supreme Court Justice Edmond Levy z''l, who passed away Tuesday night. The judge is set to be buried on Wednesday in Ramla. 

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu expressed his sorrow at Levy's passing, saying "he was straight as a ruler and wasn't afraid of expressing his opinion time and again on controversial issues. The people of Israel, the state of Israel and land of Israel were his top priorities."

However, in eulogizing the judge, former MK Professor Aryeh Eldad, Director of Professors for a Strong Israel, argued Netanyahu has not done justice to the 2012 Levy Report left behind by the judge, which clarified that Judea and Samaria are not "occupied" under international law.

"If only it was possible to hope Netanyahu would adopt the full report, and that it would serve as a living and active monument to the judge Edmond Levy," remarked Eldad. "But to our sorrow, we know Netanyahu never intended to implement a single word of this magnificent document, not in the days when he appointed the (Levy) Commission, not in the days when the document was put on his table, and not today."

Indeed, Netanyahu's administration has effectively shelved the report, which argues for Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria. Netanyahu was accused last December of "burying" the report after commissioning it only to sweeten new expulsions of Jews.

Economics Minister and Jewish Home Chairman Naftali Bennett added his praise to Levy. Bennett said that in addition to his report which "finally brought out the truth that the land of Israel belongs to the people of Israel and isn't occupied territory," Levy will be remembered for opposing the 2005 Disengagement expelling Jews from Gaza.

Levy ruled "one against 10 as the only one to oppose the expulsion from Gush Katif, arguing the immorality of the move," recalled Deputy Religious Services Minister Eli Ben-Dahan.

"In a heap of darkness Levy was a spot of light," eulogized MK Yaakov Katz, former head of the National Union party. "When around him were hostile judges, reporters lining up with haters of Israel and mediocre politicians, Levy raised a torch of light."

Levy ruled the right also has freedom of expression

Attorney Itamar Ben-Gvir added his praise for a less widely cited ruling of Levy, namely his decision in favor of a 2009 right-wing march through the Arab-majority Israeli city of Umm el-Fahm.

"I remember that the debate took place a few days after a large conference was held by the Islamic Movement in Israel at the Umm el-Fahm soccer stadium," recalled Ben-Gvir. He noted Levy was shocked by police requests to prevent Ben-Gvir, former MK Michael Ben-Ari and others from walking through the Israeli city.

Levy "just started castigating the shocked State Attorney representative, asking her if in Umm el-Fahm there are only rights to wave PLO and Hamas flags, and waving the Israeli flag is forbidden there."

Ben-Gvir noted the leftist bent of the Supreme Court, saying "until the Umm el-Fahm ruling we were used to the Supreme Court mostly guarding the rights to march for extreme leftists and all types of pride marches." In Levy's ruling, "he gave a message that freedom of expression is freedom of expression, and right-wing activists also deserve it."