web analytics
July 24, 2014 / 26 Tammuz, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Incorrect And Ill-Advised Assumptions: A Response To Critics Of The Levy Report

Baker-072712

Mr. Peter. A. Joseph, Chairman, Israel Policy Forum Mr. David A. Halperin, Executive Director, Israel Policy Forum Dear Mr. Joseph and Mr. Halperin,

Permit me to introduce myself. I am Ambassador Alan Baker, a member of the Edmond Levy Commission established to examine the status of building in Judea and Samaria and to make recommendations to the government on this and related issues.

As you may know, I am the former ambassador of Israel to Canada and former legal adviser to Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In the latter capacity, since the early ‘90s I have served as a member in the Israeli delegations to the peace process negotiations with Israel’s neighbors, including the negotiation and drafting of the various agreements between Israel and the PLO.

I read with considerable dismay the letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu, dated July 13, 2012, sponsored by IPF and signed by 41 prominent personalities in the U.S. Jewish community, urging him to reject the Levy Commission’s findings and recommendations.

Rather than responding to each individual signatory directly, I am forwarding this response to you both, as chairman and executive director respectively of IPF, in the hope you will ensure that it is circulated among all the other signatories to the letter.

From the content and tenor of the letter, I suspect the signatories are basing themselves on selective media reports and other sources that in fact bear no relation whatsoever to the actual content of the Levy Commission report itself. This is perhaps understandable because, to the best of my knowledge, no English language version of the report exists (apart from a translation by me of the brief summary of the basic conclusion and recommendations).

Accordingly one may presume that none of the signatories have actually read the content of the report. In this context, one may wonder on what basis 41 prominent, important and responsible leaders of the U.S. Jewish community could seriously proffer criticism of a report that they have not read and presume to advise the prime minister of Israel to reject it.

Permit me, with respect, to presume that had the signatories read the report, they would not find any reason to claim, as stated in the letter, that the report “will place the two-state solution, and the prestige of Israel as a democratic member of the international community, in peril.”

Similarly, the description of the report as “legal maneuverings” and as something that will “add fuel to those who seek to delegitimize Israel’s right to exist,” other than insulting to myself and the other members of the commission in light of our respective contributions to the welfare and prestige of Israel, is totally devoid of any basis.

The central and reasoned conclusion of the report, reaffirming the legal and historic rights and claims of Israel with regard to the area and the nature of Israel’s presence therein, is no different from Israel’s policy statements over the years, including speeches by all of Israel’s leaders and ambassadors in the United Nations, as well as in official policy documents issued over the years by Israel’s Foreign Ministry.

There is nothing in the report that could in any way be interpreted as placing the “two-state solution” in peril. The opposite is in fact the case. The report reiterates, in paragraph 9, that despite Israel’s well-based and solid legal and historical claims to sovereignty over the area and the right of Israelis to settle therein in accordance with the requisite legal norms and requirements, as set out in the body of the report, consecutive Israeli governments have chosen to opt and continue to opt in favor of conducting bone fide and pragmatic negotiations with the representatives of the Palestinian people and the Arab states, with a view to determine the fate of the area.

This is completely compatible with the address by Prime Minister Netanyahu to the U.S. Congress last May, quoted in your letter.

The main body of the Levy Report deals with practical ways of resolving the outstanding issues concerning planning, zoning and building in the area, in light of the confusing situation in this field that has developed over the last few years. The report proffers recommendations for adjudicating land-ownership disputes between Palestinian and Israeli claimants – all with a view to ensuring just, proper and fair administration.

About the Author: Alan Baker is a veteran Israeli diplomat, ambassador and negotiator.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

Please use the Facebook Tab below to leave your comment:

8 Responses to “Incorrect And Ill-Advised Assumptions: A Response To Critics Of The Levy Report”

  1. James Weir says:

    Please. Help the Jewish people build in their home land It's a Mutch larger country than the world wants them to have thank you

  2. Muriel Coudurier-Curveur says:

    Dear Sir, They don't live there, we do and we approve the Levy report.

  3. Larry Snider says:

    Dear Ambassador Baker,
    It is difficult to be diplomatic with those on all sides of the issue of peace, two states and the legality of the settlements caught in the vortex of good intentions balanced against a history of bad outcomes, mistrust, and terror. The window to achieve an agreement that must be built on the combination of popular and poltiical trust and the guarantee of security is narrow and the international community reached legal and ethical conclusions on the settlements long ago that are in conflict with the results of your Levy Commision. All Jews who beleve in a peaceful solution that includes the negotiation of two states must find enough common ground to merge the abiding security concerns of Prime Minister Netanyahu with the deep sense of justice that compels so many like the signators of the IPF letter to fear further polarization even if the position of the Levy Commision may be legally correct. This is the great challenge. Respectfully.

  4. Alan Kardon says:

    How do you deal with people who do not think Israel has a right to exist? Did you read the report?

  5. Dear Mr. Baker, The problem is that the present English Summary of the Levi Report is so short that it doesn't really summarize the original Hebrew version. This is apparent because nowhere in the English version can I find that "despite Israel’s well-based and solid legal and historical claims to sovereignty over the area and the right of Israelis to settle therein in accordance with the requisite legal norms and requirements, as set out in the body of the report, consecutive Israeli governments have chosen to opt and continue to opt in favor of conducting bone fide and pragmatic negotiations with the representatives of the Palestinian people and the Arab states, with a view to determine the fate of the area." Please comment. Thank you. Rebekah Israel

  6. Eran Spiro says:

    The Levy Commission’s findings and recommendations are not only correct and should be honored. But, should be further expanded to illustrate our people deep roots in the habitation of Yehuda and Shomron which was denied to us for over 2000 years.

  7. The signatories of the chutzpahdikka letter to Israel's P.M. should start taking Torah studies beginning with Parashat Devarim to realise.
    the importance of the eternal bond the People of Israel has with the Land of Israel. It is high time they understood that you can't male peace treaties with people who are divided among themselves, hate each other on tribal and ideological lines and deny Israel the right to exist.

  8. What the Israeli Govt. needs to do urgently is to prepare a full English translation of the Levy report for public and international dissemination.
    and thus put paid to ill-drawn assumptions and baseless conclusions.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Loading Facebook Comments ...
Loading Disqus Comments ...
Current Top Story
Shimon Peres meets with the family of fallen IDF soldier Max Steinberg.
Four Notes on The Situation
Latest Indepth Stories
Shimon Peres meets with the family of fallen IDF soldier Max Steinberg.

As Peres retires, Israel fights sour legacy: Insistence on setting policy in line with hopes, rather than with reality.

Keeping-Jerusalem

Our capital was not arbitrarily chosen, as capitals of some other nations were.

UNHRC High Commissioner Navi Pillay is calling for an investigation of Israel's military actions in Gaza. (archive photo)

UNHRC High Commissioner Navi Pillay accuses the IDF of possible war crimes in Gaza again, cutting slack to Hamas.

Rabbi Meir Kahane at the National Press Club ~ 1985

Rabbi Kahane spoke of transfer, because it was what the Torah spoke of.

There is much I can write you about what is going here, but I am wondering what I should not write. I will start by imagining that I am you, sitting at home in the Los Angeles area and flipping back and forth between the weather, traffic reports, the Ukraine, Mexican illegals and Gaza. No […]

Should Jews in Europe take more responsibility in self-defense of community and property?

Germany’s The Jewish Faith newspaper ominously noted, “We Jews are in for a war after the war.”

The truth is we seldom explore with kids what prayer is supposed to be about.

Almost as one, Jews around the world are acknowledging the day-to-day peril facing ordinary Jews in Israel and the extraordinary service of the IDF in protecting them.

So on the one hand Secretary Kerry makes no bones about who is at fault for the current hostilities: he clearly blames Hamas.

King Solomon said it long ago: “Cast your bread upon the waters” because you don’t know when you’ll hit something. Our job is to do.

The anti-Israel camp does not need to win America fully to its side. Merely to neutralize it would radically alter the balance of power and put Israel in great jeopardy.

We mourn the dead, wish a speedy recovery to the wounded, and pray that God guides the government.

Charges from the court of world public opinion and their refutations.

More Articles from Alan Baker
Baker-072712

Mr. Peter. A. Joseph, Chairman, Israel Policy Forum
Mr. David A. Halperin, Executive Director, Israel Policy Forum
Dear Mr. Joseph and Mr. Halperin,

Permit me to introduce myself. I am Ambassador Alan Baker, a member of the Edmond Levy Commission established to examine the status of building in Judea and Samaria and to make recommendations to the government on this and related issues.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/incorrect-and-ill-advised-assumptions-a-response-to-critics-of-the-levy-report/2012/07/25/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: