Friday, December 20, 2013

"Levy Campaign Participation"

My readers already understand that the Campaign to promote the Levy Report has gotten underway here in Israel, and that it's a major task. 
We will be launching a website very soon, and have just put up our FaceBook page:
If you are FaceBook savvy, I ask, please, that you like this page and share it.  Get your friends involved and ask them to do the same.
The FaceBook project is a key part of the campaign.  It not only broadcasts the issue, it serves as a vehicle for communicating with MKs regarding the importance of their participation.  You will be hearing more about this. 
But for now. please begin with putting out the word.  We are looking for thousands of "likes."

The Levy Report was written by a three person committee headed by Justice Edmund Levy; the committee was mandated by Prime Minister Netanyahu with determining the status of building in Judea and Samaria.  The Report was released in July 2012 after a year of extensive research based on law and history:
It concluded that Israel's situation is unique, that Israel is not an occupier in Judea and Samaria, and that the "settlements" are not illegal.  Nor, says the Report, do the Geneva Conventions apply to Israel's situation.
Prime Minister Netanyahu accepted the Report and then, because of pressures, shelved it without even so much as a committee discussion.
Meanwhile, Obama continues to call the communities in Judea and Samaria "illegitimate" and an "obstacle to peace" and Mahmoud Abbas of the PLO continues to promote the lie that Israel must move back behind a non-existent "1967 border."  That alleged border was only a temporary armistice line, and yet the world believes him because the Israeli government is not dynamically refuting him.
We need that Levy Report.  The situation is not going to get better, it will only get worse.  The fact of negotiations, which is most regrettable in any event, is no reason to refrain from promoting the Report. If there must be negotiations, let Israel at least state her rights and negotiate from strength. 
I cite here two recent examples of the sort of thing that occurs regularly, which makes the Report so necessary:
Earlier in December, the American Studies Association (ASA), a Washington DC based group counting some 5,000 members devoted to the interdisciplinary study of American culture and history, voted to boycott Israeli academic institutions.
The vote was passed unanimously by the association's national council, which voiced protest over “the Israeli occupation of Palestine and the expansion of illegal settlements and the Wall in violation of international law..."
And then, even more outrageous, and outraging:
"Senior European Union members warned Israel Monday that it will be held responsible for the failure of peace talks with the Palestinians if it announces the construction of new settlement housing...
"The ambassadors expressed their concerns that Israel would announce plans for more settlement construction in the West Bank after releasing Palestinian prisoners at the end of the month, in keeping with its commitment to the Palestinian Authority, something Israel did after the previous two rounds of prisoner releases earlier this year.
“'New announcements of settlement activity after the third round of prisoner releases at the end of the month might be a fatal blow for the peace process,' the ambassadors said.
"The stern warning by the major EU powers was coordinated with US Secretary of State John Kerry, who has played an integral part in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians over the past few months."
"Settlements" are here, again, considered "illegitimate" and the "stumbling block to peace."  Israel - which had not committed to a building freeze when entering the negotiations -  is accorded no right to build by the EU. 
Not that Israel needs the EU to accord her the right. But it's high time Israel claimed that right unequivocally. 
What's outrageous here, of course, transcends even the issue of Israel's right to build: The EU - while saying not a word about PA incitement - is inviting the PLO to quit negotiations and blame Israel.   
The anti-Israel stance of the EU is broadly recognized.  But why make it easier for this group to attack Israel utilizing distorted perspectives?
Regavim has put out the following press conference in response to the withdrawal of former minister Benny Begin in involvement in the Prawer plan for Bedouin land allocations:
"Former Minister Begin’s decision to resign, must be seized by the government as an opportunity to change the Begin plan and make it an improved and more just solution for all citizens of Israel, especially the Bedouins in the Negev.
"We call upon the elected officials of the State of Israel not to cower in the face of extreme pressure of a tiny but violent minority, here in Israel, using the delegitimization of Israel internationally, as a tool to harm the State and distort the discussion.
"The land of Israel is the most important and scarce resource of the State of Israel and we have to treat that dear resource responsibly.
"We have to grab this opportunity and place in the law the necessary amendments in order to deal with the real needs of the Bedouin population and not only serve a small minority of Bedouin with land claims.
"The violence and the threats of the Arab MKs and a small minority of Bedouin against this unprecedented and extremely generous plan of former Minister Begin, proves once again that giving free gifts, sends a message of weakness and enlarges their appetite.
"We call upon the Ministers and Members of Knesset not to discard 7 years invested in finding a just solution and return to the principles as laid out by the Goldberg commission and original Prawer legislation, to continue in the quest to put forward a suitable law that will organize Bedouin settlement in the Negev."  
Elie Wiesel - Holocaust survivor, author, Nobel Peace Laureate, and human rights activist - placed a full page ad in the NYTimes yesterday and the same ad in the Wall Street Journal today. Paid for by philanthropist Michael Steinhardt, it was co-sponsored by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach.
Credit: NYTimes
Writes Wiesel:
"...should the civilized nations of the world trust a regime whose supreme leader said yet again last month that Israel is ‘doomed to annihilation,’ and referred to my fellow Jewish Zionists as ‘rabid dogs?’"
We must "appeal to President Obama and Congress to demand, as a condition of continued talks, the total dismantling of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure and the regime’s public and complete repudiation of all genocidal intent against Israel. And I appeal to the leaders of the United States Senate to go forward with their vote to strengthen sanctions against Iran until these conditions have been met."
You can find the full text of the ad below.  Please share it and refer to it:
Bravo on this!  May he have an impact that causes a ripple effect of ever-broadening protest on Iran.
There will be much more to follow on the subject soon.
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