Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has expressed interest in adopting the conclusions of the Levy Report as soon as possible, coalition chairman MK Ze’ev Elkin told Arutz Sheva on Sunday.
The Levy Report concluded that there is no “occupation” and international law allows Jews to live in Judea and Samaria, as its status was not that of a nation in 1967. It was presented to Netanyahu this past summer after months of study by former High Court Justice Edmund Levy and two other legal experts.
According to Elkin, the issue of the Levy Report came up at Sunday morning’s meeting of Likud ministers, during which he and Education Minister Gidon Sa’ar demanded that Netanyahu bring the adoption of the report to a vote.
“The ministers expressed a clear position that the elections should not interfere with the adoption of the report, and the Prime Minister said he did not understand what the difficulties here are,” said Elkin. “He said he preferred to exhaust negotiations with the Attorney General, because the legal validity of the report depends on the position of the Attorney General.”
Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein expressed his objection to the report and unjustifiably claimed that the government is now considered a “transitional government”, because early elections were called, and as such it cannot make decisions that will obligate the next government. Weinstein’s objection prompted Netanyahu to postpone a planned Cabinet discussion of the report.
According to Elkin, Netanyahu “prefers not to clash head-on with the Attorney General, but he certainly said he wants to bring the report for approval in the near future,” perhaps even before January’s elections.
He also spoke with Arutz Sheva about the decision to have the Likud and Yisrael Beytenu parties run on a joint list in the upcoming election. Elkin welcomed the move and said it is a good strategy that will result in one party leading the national camp and leaving the nationalist camp at the helm.
“I see this as the main trend,” said Elkin, adding, “Perhaps some people will be hurt by the move, maybe even myself, but the main goal is to have the right remain in power.”
He rejected the concerns that the union would deter traditional Likud voters from voting for the list led by Lieberman Netanyahu, saying he believes there is no reason for concern because the character the Likud will be preserved even in the joint list. “It is important to preserve the unique character of the Likud,” he emphasized.
Elkin also said he was unfazed by the polls which showed a decline in the power of the two parties, saying these polls came too early and mainly reflected the initial reaction of the public that has not yet internalized the essence of the process.
“This is only an initial response and I suggest we be patient, but even if we end up having a little less than the 42 seats we have today, if the right remains in power we have achieved our main goal,” he said. “If you have a lot of seats and you are in the opposition that does not help.”