The report stresses the need to ensure that genuine land-ownership rights of the local Palestinian population are respected by all related authorities and individuals. It refers to the need for protection of parks and nature reserves, as well as ensuring that all residents of the area – Palestinians and Israelis – are dealt with by the authorities in a fair and proper manner in accordance with all accepted humanitarian norms and principles of justice and due process.
In light of the above, it is difficult to understand the reasoning, if any exists, behind the fears expressed by the signatories that the report will add fuel to those who seek to delegitimize Israel’s right to exist.
With great respect, it is surely the publication of incorrect and ill-advised assumptions regarding the report, including those echoed in the above-noted letter, that adds the fuel to those who seek to delegitimize Israel’s right to exist.
Without in any way doubting the deep commitment of all the signatories to Israel’s well-being as a Jewish and democratic state, it is to be regretted that they have permitted themselves to be drawn so hastily into criticizing the Levy Report, without justification.
Needless to say I place myself at the disposal of IPF and all the signatories to the letter, in order to assist those interested in understanding the content of the Levy Commission Report.
I am copying this letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu.
Alan Baker is a veteran Israeli diplomat, ambassador and negotiator.