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August 30, 2014 / 4 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Levy Report’

U.S. Jewish Left Urging Bibi to ‘Make Painful Sacrifices’

Friday, April 5th, 2013

Some American Jews have a lot of chutzpah.

A gaggle of 100 mostly former heads of centrist to left-leaning American Jewish organizations – almost none of which represents an actual constituency – sent a finger-wagging letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu on April 3, urging him to, in the wake of U.S. president Barack Obama’s visit to the Middle East, “respond to President Obama’s call for peace.”

It’s a good thing President Obama has a Jewish echo chamber, or who knows if the Israeli government would ever realize it needs to think about peace.

Virtually none of Netanyahu’s new pen pals have extensive foreign policy or military experience, or have devised anything approaching a successful policy-making and peace-stabilizing initiative.  But that didn’t stop these civilian Americans from telling Israel’s elected leader to take “concrete confidence building steps designed to demonstrate Israel’s commitment to a ‘two-states for two peoples’ solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

In the minds of Netanyahu’s latest pen pals, Israel might – under the “guidance of Secretary of State John Kerry” – be able to “devise pragmatic initiatives” which would (finally?) “represent Israel’s readiness to make painful territorial sacrifices for the sake of peace.”

Less than 24 hours after the letter was sent to the Israeli prime minister, another one was sent and widely distributed.  This letter was written by the board of the Emergency Committee for Israel, the “pro-Israel wing of the pro-Israel community” – a quip uttered by William Kristol, editor-in-chief of the Weekly Standard, and head of ECI.

The pro-Israel letter takes a much more humble approach towards its intended recipient, while bristling at the audacity of the finger-waggers’ letter.

It’s puzzling to us why a small group of American Jews believes it is appropriate to demand ‘painful territorial sacrifices’ of Israelis, when those issuing the demand will not experience the pain, or be compelled to sacrifice anything, should their advice prove foolish – as it has so many times in the past.

When asked about the impetus for their letter, Noah Pollak, ECI’s executive director, told The Jewish Press, “They might exhibit a little more humility and caution. Even if we accept the premise that all the signatories are actually leaders of the American Jewish community, how does that make them qualified, and give them standing, to issue foreign policy directives to the State of Israel?”

The ECI letter draws a clear line between Jewish non-Israelis who state their views about what kind of policies Israel should pursue, which is perfectly acceptable, and the kind of demands made in the finger-wagging letter: “We, too, have strong opinions on the peace process – but one thing we never presume to do is instruct our friends in Israel on the level of danger to which they should expose themselves.”

So who are some of these finger-wagging ersatz foreign policy advisers?  They read like a veritable who’s who…who? The claim to fame of nearly all of them is that they are wealthy individuals with strong connections to the Israel Policy Forum.  Nearly a third of the signers are either on the board of directors or on the advisory council of the IPF, which is sometimes referred to as the “old man’s J Street.”

Few who signed the IPF letter are famous for their policy acumen, and though only one is an actual felon, none have been responsible for the safety of a tiny nation surrounded by genocidal enemies.  But somebody must have been involved in Middle East peace process work, perhaps Israel’s leadership could benefit from their advice.

Oh, there’s Tom Dine – he’s someone whose name always pops up on letters like these.  Dine is almost always, at least in gatherings intended to suggest a broad range of political diversity, identified as a former executive director of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

But much more recently than Dine’s AIPAC tenure, which ended 20 years ago, Dine has been busy peddling a kind of foreign policy initiative for peace in the Middle East, the focus of which was not Israel’s security, but instead was that of a different tiny nation in the vast Middle East as the lynchpin for peace.  That country was Syria.

Since 2007, Dine has been the senior adviser for Search for Common Ground‘s US-Syria program.  Common Ground’s  goal is “to transform the way the world deals with conflict – away from adversarial approaches and towards collaborative problem solving.”

Although Dine signed the letter advocating Israeli concessions in order to entice the Arab Palestinians back to the negotiating table, it was not long ago that he was insisting there was absolutely no chance for a bilateral resolution to the Middle East conflict.

At the far left J Street’s annual conference in February, 2011, Dine was adamant that there was no possibility for achieving a bilateral peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.  Instead, he was heavily advocating a regional peace plan, one which “had to pass through Syria.”  Double oops.

Dov Zakheim, another finger wagging pen pal, is on the board of Common Ground. Zakheim is the only other pen pal whose name is at least familiar to the foreign policy crowd.  Zakheim had extensive stints in the administrations of Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, primarily overseeing budgets for defense spending.

One of the 19 women who signed the letter is Susie Gelman.  Gelman is the past president of the Washington D.C. Federation and, with her husband Michael, will serve as co-chair of the 2013 General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America.  Another leader in the Federation world is Marcia Riklis who is both on the IPF board and is also the campaign chair of the UJA-Federation of New York.

Another former head of the New York Federation who signed the finger-wagging letter is Larry Zicklin, who was previously chairman of IPF. A former leader of the UJA, Marvin Lender, signed on, as did a former chairman of the Jewish Agency, Richard Pearlstone. Nicholas Buncl is on the IPF advisory board and was previously the chair of the New York Jewish Community Center. Several well-known and well-monied men such as Charles Bronfman, S. Daniel Abraham, Lester Crown and Stanley Gold also signed the letter.

SAME CROWD SENT A SCOLDING LETTER TO NETANYAHU LAST  SUMMER

If many of these names have begun to ring a bell, that’s because a large number of them signed another letter to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu just last summer.  At that time they also presumed to instruct the Israeli prime minister about how best to run his government.  That letter was sent shortly after former Israeli Supreme Court Justice Edmond Levy had issued a long-awaited report regarding the legality of Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria. The Levy Report concluded that Jewish settlement in those territories is legal; there is no “occupation” in the territories.

Those pen pals, most of whom were also Israel Policy Forum members, instructed Netanyahu to “make sure his government rejects a controversial report that denies Israel is occupying” the land west of the Jordan River.

Moshe Dann wrote a carefully researched and detailed analysis of the funding and connections behind the July, 2012 letter writers, including the IPF members and the others in the larger leftist Jewish community, one that often seems more committed to the creation of a Palestinian State than they are concerned about the consequences such a creation would pose for the security of Israel.

As Dann pointed out in his article, very few of those who signed the  letter could have even read the report, as it was only in Hebrew at that time.  But an inability to read the Levy Report had no bearing on whether or not to criticize it, and the different Jewish organizations of the left, which include not only IPF, but the further left Center for American Progress,  Peter Beinart, and the New America Foundation, all seem to share members and funders.

“The difference between their letter and ours,” ECI’s Pollak offered as a final observation regarding the two U.S. letters sent to Netanyahu, “is that the prime minister might actually read ours.”

Likud’s First Lady: Adopt Levy Report, Expand Construction

Thursday, December 13th, 2012

The Likud’s highest ranking female candidate, MK Tzipi Hotovely called for the adoption of the Levy report and more construction in all parts of Israel at victory party last night in Or Yehuda, Israel, attended by hundreds of her supporters.

“Construction, construction, construction, in all parts of the country,” Hotovely declared.

In the recent Likud primaries Hotovely won the 10th spot on the Likud’s list, making her the highest ranking female candidate from the Likud party. On the joint Likud-Beytenu list, Hotovely has the 15th spot.

Hotovely said that her victory shows that clean and principled politics can win out and called on voters to support the Likud so that the Likud can follow through with its pro-Land of Israel agenda.

Likud MK Tzipi Hotovely, 34, is an attorney and a doctorate student at the Faculty of Law in Tel Aviv University. She is Orthodox and describes herself as “religious right winger.” When she was first elected, at the tender age of 30, she was the youngest MK in history. But she is also a staunch defender of women’s rights and chairs the Knesset Committee on the Status of Women.

Hotovely’s parents immigrated from then Soviet Georgia.

She began to gain notoriety in Israel in 2006, when she became a regular panelist on a Channel 10 political show hosted by Dan Margalit and began to write a column for NRG. After joining Likud in 2008, she made it to the 18th spot on the party’s 2009 Knesset list and became an MK. In the November primaries she reached the 10th spot, making her one of her party’s top leaders.

Her views on settlements and legitimizing Israeli rule in Judea and Samaria are expected to play a major role in the next Netanyahu government, along with Danny Danon, who has the sixth place position.

Yori Yanover contributed to this report.

Yesha Council Initiates Levy Report Campaign

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

At the Yesha Council Emergency Meeting dealing with the new campaign to pressure the government to authorize the Levy Report and/or make it a condition for a future coalition agreement with the parties that will
form Netanyahu’s next government:

The Campaign’s slogan:  “Netanyahu’s Government: Authorize the Levy Report.” Photo by: Yisrael Medad.

Visit My Right Word.

Mofaz to Fight Levy Report

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

Shaul Mofaz, head of the Kadima party, attacked Prime Minister Netanyahu on Wednesday for his plan to try to legally pass the Levy Report (on the Israeli Territories). Mofaz says he plans to go to the State Attorney’s office to try to block it.

According to Mofaz, Netanyahu is trying to adopt it because of his fear of the Feiglinites (Moshe Feiglin supporters in the Likud).

Mofaz continued to say that passing the report is not in the interest of the Zionism, and will lead to the destruction of the Jewish majority in Israel and the isolation of Israel in the world.

US Jewish Leaders to Netanyahu: Embrace Levy Recommendations, Legalize Outposts

Saturday, August 4th, 2012

More than sixty-five American Jewish leaders signed a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and urged him to adopt the findings of the Levy Report, which asserts that the “settlements” in Judea and Samaria are legal in accordance with international law.

The report, which was authored by a panel of renowned Israeli jurists comprised of Supreme Court justice Edmond Levy, former Foreign Ministry legal adviser Alan Baker, and former deputy president of the Tel Aviv District Court Tehiya Shapira, recommends against the future demolition of communities that had been deemed to be “illegal outposts.”

The letter endorsing the Levy Report, which was spearheaded by Rabbi Pesach Lerner, Executive Vice President, Emeritus of the National Council of Young Israel, is signed by dozens of prominent Jewish leaders from across the United States, with additional people joining in support of the letter daily.

“As the Levy Report correctly notes, Israel is not engaged in ‘military occupation’ in relation to the communities in Judea and Samaria,” the American Jewish leaders wrote in their letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu. “We believe that this conclusion vindicates the Israeli government, which has been unjustifiably vilified by many in the international community, simply because there are Jews living in this particular area of the Jewish State.”

“Like you, we recognize and respect the fact that the Jewish people have inalienable rights to the land of Israel which stem from the Bible, and we are familiar with the historic legacy of the movement of Ze’ev Jabotinsky, Menachem Begin, and Herut/Likud, which you now lead, that has long endorsed Jewish rights in the entirety of the land of Israel,” continued the Jewish leaders. “Viewing it from this perspective, the Levy Report confirms what we all know to be true and just, and it certainly warrants your support and endorsement.”

In addition to expressing their staunch support of the Levy Report, the American Jewish leaders urged Prime Minister Netanyahu to reject the claims about the report that were set forth in a recent letter organized by the Israel Policy Forum.

“In our opinion, the individuals who have urged you not to accept the findings of the Levy Report under the pretext that Israel’s status as a Jewish and democratic state could somehow be compromised by its adoption are doing a disservice to the State of Israel,” the American Jewish leaders wrote in their letter to the Prime Minister. “Despite assertions to the contrary, the conclusions of the Levy Report do not ‘place…the prestige of Israel as a democratic member of the international community, in peril.’ We categorically reject this absurd declaration and sincerely hope and pray that you do the same.”

The following is the text of the letter and the complete list of signatories. The organizations are for identification purposes only.

August 2, 2012 Honorable Benjamin Netanyahu Office of the Prime Minister 3 Kaplan Street P.O. Box 187 Kiryat Ben-Gurion Jerusalem, Israel 91950

Dear Prime Minister Netanyahu:

We write to you in support of the recent report issued by the Levy Committee. We welcome the report’s findings and greatly appreciate the thorough process and honest approach undertaken by the well-respected legal professionals tasked with authoring this study.

We are heartened by the Levy Report’s finding that the “settlements” in Judea and Samaria are completely legal under international law, and we are encouraged that the report recommends against the future demolition of communities that had been deemed to be “illegal outposts.”

As the Levy Report correctly notes, Israel is not engaged in “military occupation” in relation to the communities in Judea and Samaria. We believe that this conclusion vindicates the Israeli government, which has been unjustifiably vilified by many in the international community, simply because there are Jews living in this particular area of the Jewish State.

Those who have repeatedly leveled criticisms at Israel for its willingness to sanction the “settlements” inexplicably ignore the fact that there are approximately 350,000 Jews residing in vibrant communities throughout Judea and Samaria, most of whom make immeasurable contributions to Israeli society. Playing politics with the lives and futures of these tens of thousands of families, comprising hundreds of thousands of Israeli citizens, is absolutely shameful and wholly unacceptable.

In our opinion, the individuals who have urged you not to accept the findings of the Levy Report under the pretext that Israel’s status as a Jewish and democratic state could somehow be compromised by its adoption are doing a disservice to the State of Israel.

Despite assertions to the contrary, the conclusions of the Levy Report do not “place…the prestige of Israel as a democratic member of the international community, in peril.” We categorically reject this absurd declaration and sincerely hope and pray that you do the same.

It is not the responsibility of the State of Israel to appease the United Nations or other entities whose interests run counter to the best interests of the Jewish State. We know that your government has not, and will not, mollify those who repeatedly have sought to delegitimize the State of Israel.

We fully understand that you work diligently, day in and day out, to ensure that the citizens of Israel are safe and that their interests are duly protected. We deeply appreciate your ongoing support of the citizens of the scores of communities throughout Judea and Samaria and your continuous efforts to enable them to live their lives fully and freely in their respective homes.

We all owe it to future generations to stand up now for the right and the reality of having the entirety of the Land of Israel, including Judea, Samaria, and all of Jerusalem, for our Jewish People.

Like you, we recognize and respect the fact that the Jewish people have inalienable rights to the land of Israel which stem from the Bible, and we are familiar with the historic legacy of the movement of Ze’ev Jabotinsky, Menachem Begin, and Herut/Likud, which you now lead, that has long endorsed Jewish rights in the entirety of the land of Israel. Viewing it from this perspective, the Levy Report confirms what we all know to be true and just, and it certainly warrants your support and endorsement.

We urge you to adopt the findings of the Levy Report, thereby formally validating the status of the Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria as a true part of the State of Israel within the purview of the Israeli government. Very truly yours,

Rabbi David Algazi Congregation Havurat Yisrael President, World Committee for the Land of Israel Forest Hills, NY

Richard Allen Founder JCCWatch.org New York, NY

Rabbi Moshe Averick Board, Rabbinical Council of America Chicago, IL

Marvin S. Belsky, M.D. Human Rights Coalition Against Radical Islam New York, NY

Rabbi Mordechai Cohen Milwaukee, WI

Rabbi Yochanan Davis Rabbinical Alliance of America Brooklyn, NY

Michael Dobrin National Council on Jewish Affairs Nashville, TN

Rabbi Yisroel Edelman Young Israel Deerfield Beach Deerfield Beach, FL

Fred Ehrman New York, NY

Rabbi David Eliezrie North County Chabad Center President, Rabbinical Council of Orange County Yorba Linda, CA

Gary Erlbaum Board Member Federation of Greater Philadelphia Ardmore, PA

Rabbi Dov Fischer Young Israel of Orange County Irvine, CA

Stephen M. Flatow Terror Victims Right’s Activist West Orange, NJ

Joseph Frager, MD Chairman, World Committee for the Land of Israel Jamaica Estates, NY

Helen Freedman Executive Director Americans for a Safe Israel New York, NY

Michael Gerbitz United with Israel Lawrence, NY

Beth Gilinsky Executive Director National Conference on Jewish Affairs New York, NY

Dr. Chanania Gang Vice President Religious Zionists of America Yonkers, NY

Dr. Jonathan Gold Americans For a Safe Israel Passaic, NJ

Steven M. Goldberg, Esq. National Vice Chairman Zionist Organization of America Los Angeles, CA

Beverly A. Goldstein, Ph.D. Co-chair, Cuyahoga Valley Republican Club Beachwood, OH

Michael S. Goldstein, Esq. President, Northern Ohio Chapter, Association for Intelligence Officers Beachwood, OH

Rabbi Avrohom Gordimer New York, NY

Marvin Green, President Hunter Green Associates New York, NY

Rabbi Yonah Gross Congregation Beth Hamedrosh Wynnewood, PA

Rabbi Abraham B. Hecht Rabbi Emeritus, Congregation Sharre Zion President, Rabbinical Alliance of America Brooklyn, NY

Rabbi Yehoshua S. Hecht Beth Israel of Westport/Norwalk President, Rabbinical Council of Connecticut Norwalk, CT

Rabbi Yonoson Hirtz Utopia Jewish Center Fresh Meadows, NY

Odeleya Jacobs Vice President Media Relations World Committee for the Land of Israel Flushing, NY

Rabbi Ari Jacobson Young Israel of Monsey and Wesley Hills Monsey, NY

Chaim Kaminetzky Past President National Council of Young Israel Flushing, NY

Sharad Karkhanis, Ph. D. Professor Emeritus, City University of New York Brooklyn, NY

Stuart Kaufman National Conference on Jewish Affairs Great Neck, NY

Ruth King Executive Committee Editorial Board OUTPOST American for a Safe Israel New York, NY

Jay Knopf Executive Board, The Hebron Fund Teaneck, NJ

Mara Kochba Israel Cancer Research Fund Los Angeles, CA

Rabbi Pesach Lerner Executive Vice President, Emeritus National Council of Young Israel Far Rockaway, NY

Rabbi Reuven Mann Young Israel of Phoenix Phoenix, AZ

Lori Lowenthal Marcus President, Z STREET Philadelphia, PA

Alan A. Mazurek, MD Former Chairman, ZOA National Board Assistant Clinical Professor, Neurology Mount Sinai Medical Center, NYC Great Neck, NY

Yaniv Meirov CHAZAQ Organization Queens, NY

Julio Messer Past President, American Friends of Likud New York, NY

Cherna Moskowitz Miami Beach, FL

Shlomo Mostofsky, Esq. Immediate Past President National Council of Young Israel Brooklyn, NY

Rabbi Yehuda L Oppenheimer Young Israel of Forest Hills Forest Hills, NY

Russel Pergament Boston, MA

Gerald Platt President, American Friends of Likud New York, NY

Rozanne Polansky Executive Board Young Israel of North Bellmore North Bellmore, NY

Rabbi Steven Pruzansky Congregation B’nai Yeshurun Teaneck, NJ

Susan L. Rosenbluth Editor and Publisher The Jewish Voice and Opinion Englewood, NJ

Rabbi Dov Schreier Young Israel of North Bellmore North Bellmore, NY

Sheldon Schreiner Chairman of the Board National Council of Young Israel Plainview, NY

Harvey Schwartz Chairman American Israeli Action Coalition Woodmere, NY

Rabbi Ze’ev Smason Nusach Hari Bnai Zion Congregation St. Louis, MO

Rabbi Mordechai Yosef Scher Beit Midrash Kol Beramah Santa Fe, NM

Josef Silny Miami, FL

Rabbi Moshe Snow Young Israel Beth El Of Borough Park Brooklyn, NY

Rabbi Sroya Sorscher Dean, Rabbi Jacob London Yeshiva Brooklyn, NY

Sarah N. Stern Founder and President Endowment for Middle East Truth Washington, DC

Rabbi Gershon Tannenbaum Director, Rabbinical Alliance of America Brooklyn, NY

Yitzchok Tenenbaum Lechaim Charities New York, NY

Howard Teich New York, NY

Robin Ticker American Friends for a Safe Israel Brooklyn, NY

Stanley Treitel American Friends of the Jerusalem Conference Los Angeles, CA

Farley Weiss President, Young Israel of Phoenix 1st Vice President, National Council of Young Israel National Vice President, ZOA Phoenix, AZ

Dr. Rina Yarmish
Chairperson, Mathematics & Computer Science
City University of New York, Kingsborough
New York, NY

The Rebirth of Jerusalem

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

(((CLICK BELOW TO HEAR AUDIO)))

Yishai talks about the absolute need for more land to be claimed by Jews in Israel and to further discuss this matter; he is joined by Aryeh King, the founder and director of the Israel Land Fund. They start off by talking about the situation behind Yishai’s recent assault while driving in Eastern Jerusalem and the background behind it and move on to talk about how with additional Jews moving to the Mount of Olives is creating a whole new feeling in the eastern part of the city. They wrap up by King giving his opinion on the findings of the Levy Report and how it will help extend the borders of the City of Jerusalem.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

Germany and the Levy Report

Friday, July 13th, 2012

(((CLICK BELOW TO HEAR AUDIO)))

Yishai and Malkah further elaborate about the ban on ritual circumcision in Germany.  At 13:45, Yishai moves on to talk about the current Torah portion and how they also relate to the situation in Germany along with talking about the German government’s harsh treatment towards Jews in Israel.  The segment wraps up with a discussion of the Levy Commission Report; a report that states that the construction of Jewish communities outside of internationally recognized borders is n ot a violation of international law.

Unlike Previous posts, we are presenting this segment in two parts, this one is the show intro up to the introduction of the discussion of the Levy Report.

This second part is the discussion of the Levy Report in full along with the closing of the segment.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/jewish-press-radio-with-yishai-fleisher-germany-and-the-levy-report/2012/07/13/

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