BY MATI TUCHFELD, ISRAEL HAYOM—
Will the U.S. Congress decide to recognize Edmond Levy’s reports on settlements, even as the government of Israel has yet to decide what to do with the controversial report? The chances are slim, but Israeli MK Danny Danon (Likud) says that a new congressional initiative, spearheaded by controversial tea party-backed freshman Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.), is aimed at getting Congress to recognize a report written by retired Israeli Supreme Court Judge Levy, which argues that Israel cannot be seen as an occupying power in Judea and Samaria.
The report was written by a committee headed by Levy and included retired Tel Aviv District Court Judge Tchia Shapira and former Foreign Ministry legal adviser Alan Baker. Its main premise is that, under international law, Israel is not an occupying force in Judea and Samaria.
The Republican congressman, who introduced a resolution late last year supporting a proposal that Israel annex Jewish communities in the West Bank and has gone on record as saying that he supports a one-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, has already started obtaining signatures from dozens of members of Congress in recent days, according to Danon.
“There is no such thing as a two-state solution, and no such thing as land for peace. The ultimate peace is going to come through annexation, through Israel having sovereignty over the whole land, from the Mediterranean to Jordan,” Walsh has said.
In an editorial for The Washington Times, Walsh wrote, ” Those Palestinians who wish to may leave their Fatah- and Hamas-created slums and move to the original Palestinian state: Jordan. The British Mandate for Palestine created Jordan as the country for the Palestinians. That is the only justification for its creation. Even now, 75 percent of its population is of Palestinian descent. Those Palestinians who remain behind in Israel will maintain limited voting power but will be awarded all the economic and civil rights of Israeli citizens. They will be free to raise families, start businesses and live in peace, all of which are impossible under current Arab rule.”
Walsh also wants to cut off aid to Egypt unless the country’s new president renounces his call to renegotiate the Camp David Accords.
During a conference in Washington last week, MK Danny Danon (Likud) presented Levy’s report to a group of some congressmen.
Danon said at the conference, “With U.S. support , we will be able to apply Israeli sovereignty over Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria and resolve the legal obstacles that stand in the way of extensive construction and development of the settlement enterprise.”
Danon added that “the Levy report emphasizes, to the people of Israel and to the entire world, the right of the State of Israel over Judea and Samaria.”
Earlier this month, the U.S. State Department announced that, “we’ve seen the reports that an Israeli government-appointed panel has recommended legalizing dozens of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, but we do not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity and we oppose any effort to legalize settlement outposts.”