Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for a thorough investigation to be carried out regarding the legal status of the Jewish residents’ rights to live in Judea and Samaria, the West Bank, under International Law and a variety of treaties and other appropriate legalities in January 2012. The committee produced a report named after the presiding jurist, retired Israeli Supreme Court Judge, Edmond Levy. The other members of the Committee were retired Tel Aviv District Court Judge Tchiya Shapira and a former Foreign Ministry legal adviser Alan Baker. They began their investigation with the documents and treaty produced by the San Remo Conference of April 1920 and followed the paper trail which included the League of Nations treaties which set up the Mandate Lands under British control which were dedicated for the expressed purpose of establishing the Jewish State, and on through the establishment of the United Nations in 1945 with the recognition of existing rights of states acquired under the various mandates from under the League of Nations, including of course the rights of Jews to settle in the Land of Israel by virtue of the those documents, which was affirmed in article 80 of the United Nations Charter. After fully reviewing all pertinent documents, conferences, treaties and commentaries, the Levy Committee released their findings which state explicitly the legal status of all Jewish settlement within all of Judea and Samaria.
There have been those who have opposed the findings of the Levy Committee. Many of those in opposition claim that the Levy Committee was unnecessary as the International Court of Justice had already addressed the issue of the legality or lack thereof of Israeli use of lands considered as part of the West Bank when they ruled against the separation fence which Israel was erecting for security purposes with some of it running through these areas. This finding was made without the benefit of access to all the pertinent documents as the office of then Secretary General of the United Nations Kofi Annan was remiss in providing some of the vital documents in the dossier of eighty-eight documents he was required to submit to the Court that were “likely to throw light upon the question” which he was legally required to do under Article 65 of the International Court of Justice’s statute. The most glaringly obvious documents which were omitted were the original League of Nations Mandates and the United Nations Charter Article 80. Ironically, the one justice on the International Court of Justice who expressed warning, sounding the alarm that these documents were absent and deserved to be considered before reaching any judgment, was Judge El-Araby, an Egyptian appointee on the court. Obviously, he was ignored as the majority of the justices sitting on the International Court of Justice had reached their decision likely before the first document or witness had been examined. This had been the exact reasoning behind the Israeli decision not to even have representation to argue before the International Court of Justice as they expressly stated the futility of such an exercise.
What will be the unfortunate result of the introduction of the Levy Committee Report to the litany of decisions, arguments, and related posturing on this subject is that it will not even add any appreciable sound to the fury of the present arguments. The Levy Report will simply be ignored by virtually every NGO, government, world body, international discussions, national leaders or any activity which will address the right of Israel to the lands of Judea and Samaria and all lands between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea as was promised in treaties, conferences, mandates and charters; let alone the fact that Jordan was already carved from lands which had been promised for the Jewish State. But what are promises and 78% of the Mandate lands to be considered when the current question is how to steal even more of the promise from Israel and the Jewish people. The one thing history has noted is that no promise is any stronger or lasting than the force of arms ready and willing to protect and enforce it, and Judea and Samaria will prove to be no different.
What makes this entire episode all the more frustrating has been the reaction of those one might suspect would beck Israel in applying the Levy Report on the international stage. The United States Department of State has already condemned the Levy Committee Report when spokesman Patrick Ventrell, declared: “We do not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity and we oppose any effort to legalize settlement outposts.” Even that could be understood despite the fact that after the League of Nations established the British Mandate Lands to fulfill the Balfour Declaration, United States endorsed the idea of a Jewish national home through a joint resolution of the United States Congress. What is almost impossible to swallow is the letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu by some of the American Jewish Leadership expressing concern over the Levy Committee Report stating, “As strong advocates for Israel’s security and well-being as a Jewish and democratic state, we are deeply concerned about the recent findings of the government commission led by [retired Supreme Court Justice] Edmund Levy. We fear that if approved, this report will place the two-state solution, and the prestige of Israel as a democratic member of the international community, in peril.” Among those who signed this revolting expression of politically correct surrender of Jewish rights to claim the lands which were promised by treaty under the declarations of the League of Nations, a world body, and reaffirmed by the United Nations in its founding Charter, include philanthropists Charles Bronfman and Lester Crown; Marvin Lender the Former National Chairman of United Jewish Appeal; Deborah Lipstadt the Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish History and Holocaust Studies at Emory University; Bernard Nussbaum who is the former White House Counsel; Richard Pearlstone the former chairman of the Jewish Agency; and Rabbi David Saperstein who is the director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. The signatories of this declaration of treachery and betrayal should be forever held in contempt by every Zionist and sympathizer and supporter of the State of Israel or the Jewish People. May G0d be merciful in their judgment.
Beyond the Cusp