Netanyahu to Back Part of Levy Report on Yesha Towns

By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu, INN

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will recommend that the government back part of the Levy Report urging a halt to discrimination against Jews in Judea and Samaria and an about-face to the concept of an “occupation.”

The Levy Report was presented to the Prime Minister this past summer after months of study by former High Court Justice Edmund Levy and two other legal experts. They contradicted the view of the international community, strongly supported by the Obama administration, that a Jewish presence in Judea, Samaria and in united Jerusalem is illegal.

The Levy Report concluded that Jews have an equal right to live in all of the areas restored to the Jewish State in the Six-Day War in 1967.

Netanyahu effectively shelved the report by setting it aside for further study, but with elections coming up, he now will recommend adopting part of the recommendations, Voice of Israel government radio reported Wednesday morning.

The office of the Prime Minister did not respond to Arutz Sheva’s request to confirm or deny the report.

His sudden change reflects increasing pressure from nationalists in the Likud as well as those in the coalition Jewish Home party and the Opposition National Union party, both of which are running on a combined slate in the January elections. Likud MKs Yisrael Katz, Tzipi Hotovely, Gideon Sa’ar and Yuli Edelstein, among others, have told the Prime Minister that the Levy Report should be approved.

However, it is probable that the government will make more promises than concrete changes in policies before the elections.

MK Katz told Voice of Israel he is not concerned with expected international opposition to strengthening the status of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.

“Adopting the report’s recommendations to stop discrimination against Jews will deliver a clear message to residents of Judea and Samaria they can live normal lives like everyone else in the country,” he said.

“There must be a clear and historical message that a child in Ofra [located in Samaria] has the same rights as a child in Tel Aviv,” he continued.

The most prominent discrimination is in the area of housing. Until recently, Defense Minister Ehud Barak used his power as official administrator of Judea and Samaria to block most building permits. Prime Minister Netanyahu changed the decision-making process this summer by forming a Cabinet committee, which includes Barak, to be responsible for polices in Judea and Samaria.

The Levy Report recommends that the government end the military rule over Jewish communities and annex several areas so that residents will be equal with other Israeli citizens.

MK Katz said adopting part of the report does not prevent the establishment of the Palestinian Authority as an independent state. PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has demanded that a PA state include all of Judea and Samaria as well as large areas of united Jerusalem.

Kadima MK Yoel Hasson told Voice of Israel that adopting part of the Levy Report would be “playing with fire” by providing the fuel for Palestinian Authority Arabs to stage an Arab Spring rebellion.

Anyone wanting to change the status quo is ignoring demographics, he argued.

October 17, 2012 | 11 Comments »

Subscribe to Israpundit Daily Digest

Leave a Reply

11 Comments / 11 Comments

  1. @ Arnold Harris:The Begin-Sadat Center study also documents a million person gap between the Arab population published by the PA and the actual Arab population of 1,000,000 persons less.

  2. The left of the world and all the oil-dependent countries remain antisemitic. IL should proceed according to the Levy conclusions.
    Jordan is the country of the Palestinians. They need not 3 lands.

  3. Even B’tsalem, a organization that appears openly to deplore the growing Jewish expansion in Yehuda and Shomron, admits on its website that the Jewish population there is growing by about 4.9 percent per year, about double the expansion rate for Israel as a whole. If that rate is maintained, and much of the Jewish nationalist and religious population of Yehuda and Shomron take their Zionism seriously enough to bear a large number of children in support of their principles, then the present Jewish population in the lands liberated from Trans-Jordanian control in June 1967 will double to about 1.1 million in approximately 15 years, and to about 2.2 million in 30 years.

    The overall Jewish population of Israel has been doubling about every 35 years. Therefore, we could expect about 12.5 million Jewish Israelis in time for the first centennial of the Jewish state in 2048, and well over 30 million by the end of this century.

    Of course, demographic projections rarely follow the straight lines as shown on the graphs that depict them. Growing populations need industrial development suited to the contemporary, suitable lands for agriculture, and especially in the Middle East, lots of water. But Israel probably has the most advanced industrial base in the Middle East, and is competitive in many industries with much larger economic powers. Nuclear power, which Israel has, can desalinate water, albeit at some expense. But Israel also will be a leading source of petroleum and natural gas fuels in the near future.

    Israel’s key need is for more land, both for defense in depth, but also to house a growing western-type population. I long have advocated Israel expanding into the neighboring Arab-held territories in order to acquire these lands for future expansion, using the continuing Arab attacks against Israel as an appropriate justification to take control of those lands, annex them, and settle them with Jews. As for any Arabs in these territories, they can be offered limited and local autonomy. But any of them who openly resist should simply be expelled across the nearest border. In fact, I would imprison none of them but instead simply keep expelling them, which is far less expensive than maintaining prisons and feeding and guarding them at Jewish expense.

    As a trained urban and regional planner, I fully understand the 20th century phenomena of urban sprawl, which can purposely put to use to spread a growing Jewish population over a large land area. I wouldn’t want Yehuda or Shomron to come to resemble Los Angeles County, but Orange County would serve handsomely as a good model.

    Arnold Harris
    Mount Horeb WI

  4. @ Wallace Brand:
    Thank you very much for the link. When I get a chance I hope to read through it. I have an MA in Statistics and wrote several papers on the US Census undercount when I did my coursework so I am particularly interested in seeing both how the study was conducted and how it reached its conclusions.Of course, these conclusions are so important towards diffusing the myth of the demographic argument. Much appreciated

  5. Netanyahu should approve the entire report and promote the annexation of Judea and Samaria based on the Arab material breach in their promise in the Oslo Agreement to renounce violence and to seek peace. By now it is perfectly clear that the Oslo Agreement, permitting the PLO thugs to go the Israel’s Heartland when they had been bottled up in Tunisia, was a big mistake.

  6. David Chase Said:

    According to research by Yoram Ettinger the truth is that the demographics favor the Jews and that the number of Palestinians already living there is significantly lower (by about 1,000,000) than usually thought or reported to be. His research also shows that the Jewish birthrate IS actually higher than Arab birth rates in the West Bank.

    Actually, Yoram Ettinger support for that proposition is based on a detailed study by the Begin-Sadat Center. I recommend reading it.

  7. The Jews and Israel by extension have the unic historic, spiritual, moral and indeed the legal rights on the land, some by ignorance and deceit call Palestine. I always wondered why our successive “leaderships” never used those arguments, which are all supported by solid facts to defete Arab and Fakestinians false and fantastic claims. After all there was never a known, sovereign state called Palestine, nor was their ever a distinct, exclusive nationality, people or ethnic groups of people called Palestinians. We must stop that constant shy, defetist, apologetic attitude of ours. We are here by right, under every legal aspects and do not owe the Arabs nor anyone else anything. It’s high time to reverse all those mis-conceptions, falshoods and imposed nonsense in the conflict and go back to square one…and fight to force our case upon the international community.

  8. David Chase is right. It is about time that this “demographic threat” lie is thrown into the garbage where it belongs. There is a clear philosophic divide here. Is any part of Israel, “occupied” or unoccupied, to be subject to a “judenrein” concept? Tell Abbas that when he throws out that stipulation Israel will sit down and talk. It is okay for Arabs to demand their so-called nation to be free of Jews? It is okay for Saudi Arabia be free to have no Jews? Well then it might be okay for Israel to be free of all arabs.

  9. What demographics? According to research by Yoram Ettinger the truth is that the demographics favor the Jews and that the number of Palestinians already living there is significantly lower (by about 1,000,000) than usually thought or reported to be. His research also shows that the Jewish birthrate IS actually higher than Arab birth rates in the West Bank. So the whole demographic argument is totally specious. Apparently that’s the last argument that the left has left on the issue and it’s totally wrong.