Netanyahu Voices Support for Levy Panel in Wake of Jerusalem E1 Criticism

December 11, 2012 1:17 pm 1 comment

A community in Judea.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed his support for the government-appointed panel that was charged with determining whether Israel had a legal basis for building in the West Bank.

“These were professional people of the highest caliber who did their work in an exemplary manner,” the Prime Minister said of the Levy panel.

He also noted that the panel members were appointed according to law. “The members of the committee were appointed in accordance with all of the necessary approvals, including those of Justice Minister Prof. Yaakov Neeman and Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein,” said an email from the Prime Minister’s office.

Controversy swirled around both the panel and Vice Prime Minister Silvan Shalom Monday, after Walla news released a recording from last month in which Shalom appeared to suggest that members of the panel were appointed because of their perceived support of the current government.

In July the Levy Panel issued a report that said “according to international law, Israel has a legal right to settle all of Judea and Samaria, at the very least in areas that Israel controls under agreements with the Palestinian Authority.”

It concluded, “Therefore, the establishment of Jewish settlements [in Judea and Samaria] is, in and of itself, not illegal.”

On the tape Shalom can be heard implying that the government essentially knew what the outcome of the panel would be.

“He [Levy] was associated with the Likud, he was a resident of Ramla, where he served as a deputy mayor as a Likud appointee, he was a legal prodigy; he was appointed to the Supreme Court as part of a political deal between (then Likud minister) Meir Sheetrit and (then Supreme Court President) Aharon Barak,” Shalom said.

“He was totally divorced from the whole Supreme Court experience; he never attended its events, he was just a lone wolf,” Shalom continued. “So when the prime minister tapped him [to head the committee] was he unaware of whom he was appointing?”

According to Israel Hayom, Shalom also reportedly said that the background of the other two members on the committee, Alan Baker and Tchia Shapira,  led to their appointment. “When the prime minister appointed Baker, do you really think we had no idea who Baker was? He was the Foreign Ministry’s legal advisor when I was foreign minister. Did we not know who he was?” Shalom said.

On Shapira, Shalom cited the fact that she was the daughter of former Chief Rabbi Shlomo Goren (who was considered to be an enthusiastic supporter of Israeli settlements). “It’s quite clear that this trio was not expected to produce a Talia Sasson-style report,” Shalom stated. That report, authored in 2007, questioned the legality of some outposts in Judea and Samaria.

Israel Hayom reported that a spokesperson at Shalom’s bureau said his statements were not designed to suggest “that the committee was biased or lacked impartiality; any attempt to claim otherwise using the transcript of the conversation misquotes what was actually said as it is void of the proper context.”

The spokesperson added: “Had he actually wanted to suggest that the committee’s findings would have been implemented without delay, but this has not been the case.”

According to the spokesperson, Shalom’s comments were in response to a question on Sasson and her report. “The vice prime minister said obvious and well-known facts that are available to everyone with access to an online serach engine,” the spokesperson said. “He merely mentioned what was already known on the political affiliation of Edmond Levy, Alan Baker and Tchia Shapira.”

1 Comment

  • The 1922 League of Nations Mandate for “Palestine” is the binding legal document according to which the Jewish People have the right to live/settle in all parts of The Land of Israel west of the Jordan River.
    Israel has on a number of occasions offered the “Palestinian” Arabs who are actually descendants of illegal Arab settlers from other parts of the Middle East,large parts of this land, but they want to destroy Israel more than they want a state of their own.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Book Reviews Jewish Identity Surviving the Holocaust by Hiding Their Faith (REVIEW)

    Surviving the Holocaust by Hiding Their Faith (REVIEW)

    “Jews Out!” was just the name of a child’s game that three little girls played in World War II Europe. But all is not as it seems because the three girls were Jewish, but hiding their true identities. In award-winning author R. D. Rosen’s riveting non-fiction work, Such Good Girls, “Jews Out!” wasn’t a game; it was a struggle for survival. The girls, Sophie, Flora, and Carla, grew up at a time and a place that did not allow them [...]

    Read more →
  • Music Personalities Twenty Years On, the Real and Radical Legacy of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach

    Twenty Years On, the Real and Radical Legacy of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach

    JNS.org – “He was part hippie, part yippie, part beatnik, and part New Age,” wrote Elli Wohlgelernter in a Jerusalem Post eulogy in 1994, following the Oct. 20 passing of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach. Twenty years later, more robust accounts of Carlebach’s life have come to the surface. Earlier this year, Natan Ophir published the book Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach: Life, Mission & Legacy. This past summer, Rabbi Shlomo Katz’s The Soul of Jerusalem hit the shelves. But even the authors will admit [...]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Music Beatlemania Invades the Gaza Strip (SATIRE)

    Beatlemania Invades the Gaza Strip (SATIRE)

    As Hamas loses its grip on power in the Gaza Strip as a result of war, poverty and disillusionment, the Islamist terrorist group has developed an ingenious way to raise the moral of the 1.7 million Palestinian Arabs it was elected to serve. While currently focused on delivering a rocket into every Israeli home, Hamas has not left its own people behind. To gently wipe away the tears of children strategically placed inside kindergartens as human shields, the Hamas Interior Ministry has [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Spirituality/Tradition Removing Jesus’ Jewish Identity From Artwork

    Removing Jesus’ Jewish Identity From Artwork

    In a strong statement that challenges the historic divide between Christianity and Judaism, Pope Francis recently proclaimed, “Inside every Christian is a Jew.” But if you look at Renaissance artworks that depict Jesus, you will not find any evidence of a Jew inside the Christianized Jesus — even though the Gospels in the New Testament tell us that Jesus was Jewish to the core. Getting that point across to the public is a daunting task, as I learned in interviews I [...]

    Read more →
  • Music Personalities Recycling His Roots

    Recycling His Roots

    JNS.org – Having started his career playing on his family’s pots and pans, Jewish musician Billy Jonas has maintained this homemade performance ethic while spreading his messages of simple living and environmentalism to a shared home throughout the world. After beginning in the kitchen, Jonas soon moved to the music room, where he picked up the piano, guitar, and trombone. These days, the multi-talented multi-instrumentalist plays on with pretty much anything he can find, including cans, bottles buckets, and other recycled-object [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Personalities Jewish Renewal Movement Founder’s Insights Form a New Guide for Senior Living

    Jewish Renewal Movement Founder’s Insights Form a New Guide for Senior Living

    JNS.org – Sara Davidson’s The December Project is a new book that should be read by all senior citizens, and by those who hope to live a long life, for it raises a question that most of us have not been taught how to answer: What should we do in that final stage of our lives? Many of us continue working past the traditional retirement age of 65, not because we need the money and not because we find the [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Jewish History Why the Holocaust Occurred in Germany, and Why So Few Resisted (REVIEW)

    Why the Holocaust Occurred in Germany, and Why So Few Resisted (REVIEW)

    It’s hard to make a new contribution to the field of Holocaust studies,  but German historian Götz Aly accomplishes just that in Why the Germans, Why the Jews? His premise is that the origins of the Holocaust were rooted in the specific anti-Semitism found in Germany in the decades and centuries before World War II. Aly (who is not Jewish) seeks to prove his theory by studying only pre-Holocaust history, and tracing how the German people’s envy and hatred of [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Looking at Anti-Israel Celebrities and Their Brands

    Looking at Anti-Israel Celebrities and Their Brands

    JNS.org – During the current conflict in Gaza a number of celebrities have voiced their opinions in support of either the Israeli or Palestinian positions. But others—be it during Operation Protective Edge or at other times—have gone further than simply supporting the Palestinians by actively supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, making false accusations about the Jewish state, ignoring Israel’s position on the conflict, or justifying the actions of the terrorist group Hamas. Many of these [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.