..."Mommy! Edmond Levy stole my occupation," cried a wrinkly-faced child featured on a Facebook banner.He's right. What will all the '67 line warriors do now? Where will they put the monster they've created? What will they do with their time, and where will they get their funding if not from the debate over the legality of the settlements? Maybe now they will finally have the time to actually work toward peace.Maybe now they will finally stop picking on Yael and Noam, who live in a mobile home in the Samaria community of Shiloh. Maybe now they will take a look at the rabid incitement on Palestinian television, which poses more of an obstacle to peace than any settlement. Maybe now they will divert their attention from the school in Talmon — which the Sasson report labeled as illegal — and focus on the incitement to violence within the Palestinian Authority school system.- - -...Peace Now has sparked infinitely more wars among Jews than it has peace between nations. The only kind of peace lover is a hater of settlers. President Shimon Peres speaks of racial segregation between peoples — apartheid! — as a means of achieving peace. Have they gotten this confused? The tall tale of the occupation has grown so high that it is now punching its inventors in the nose.If the Levy report's recommendations are adopted by the government, there will be much embarrassment in the land. I will have to find myself another topic to write about. And maybe, in the midst of the debate over the future of the territories, a true peace camp will arise in Israel. That would be our reward.
From Nadav Shragai:-
...Military Advocate General, Meir Shamgar, who would eventually become a Supreme Court justice, articulated this worldview many years ago. According to Shamgar, the State of Israel is not an occupying power in the territories of Judea and Samaria. The principle of limiting the authority of a military administration, which supposedly is derived from the Geneva Conventions, is based on the assumption that the “occupier” conquered the land from a legal sovereign. In Judea, Samaria, and Gaza, however, there never was a legal sovereign that ruled these territories between the War of Independence and the Six-Day War, Shamgar ruled...The Levy Commission essentially reiterates this position, which has been the official position of successive Israeli governments...Levy and his two colleagues are not “creating a new order,” but rather seek to restore the old order, the one which Mike Blass (*) and his associates managed to blur and undermine in recent years.Another prosecutor who subscribes to a similar worldview as that of Blass, Talia Sasson, who authored the report on outposts for the Sharon government, officially joined Meretz and Yesh Din after retiring from public service. She argued this week that the Levy report ignores Supreme Court rulings. But Jacob Turkel, a retired Supreme Court justice, emphasized this week that “the Supreme Court never ruled that Israel is an occupying power in the areas of Judea and Samaria, but that it needs to accept some of the rules dictated by international law, particularly with regards to humanitarian considerations.”Levy, Baker, and Shapira...do not understand why disputes of this nature are not adjudicated in court, which is the norm in advanced legal systems. “We came away with the impression that the starting point for the authorities in the Civil Administration is that the Israeli inhabitants have a tendency to encroach on the properties of their Palestinian neighbors, and thus the inhabitants need to prove they are the legal owners of the land. If not, their punishment is eviction.”...the head of the Civil Administration, Brig. Gen. Moti Almoz...claims that “the situation is (inclined toward) the benefit of the Palestinian side...In land disputes in Judea and Samaria, I am required by the legal advisor to adopt the jurists’ worldview, even in cases where there is great doubt and I am not at peace with the decisions that are made and I waver after personally checking the facts on the ground,” Almoz admits.Levy and his colleagues submit that this conduct is unfair and unequal, and that it is testament to “a biased approach..."those who conceived of the edict had a goal in mind — to prevent Israeli settlement in Judea and Samaria from expanding its border,” ......Levy proposes that the limitations placed on Jews who wish to purchase land and register as landowners in Judea and Samaria — among them the “transaction permit” that the Civil Administration requires but rarely issues — be canceled.Levy even tackles Jordanian law, which forbids the sale of land to Jews in Judea and Samaria. He proposes that this law be invalidated by dint of a special military decree......Levy and his colleagues also take a bold step in concluding that the burden of proving action in good faith is a greater one when placed on the state than that placed on the citizen. “The settlers in the disputed settlements were permitted to assume that the government was acting legally in their case, and as such the argument offered by the government — that the establishment of settlements was done illegally, even though the government itself encouraged construction there on the one hand and then ‘froze’ planning processes on the other — attests to behavior that is rife with a lack of good faith of the most severe kind,” the committee found.Baker told Israel Hayom that the committee on which he sat was not political in nature. “We determined early on, and we wrote this in the beginning of the report, that we would not take a position regarding the diplomatic wisdom in building the settlements, but that we would act as jurists who are charged with drawing conclusions based solely on the law,” he said. “This is not a political report, but a legal report, which is based on an examination of international, Ottoman, Jordanian, and Israeli jurisprudence...We need to act in accordance with our interests and our rights, and on the basis of the probe that we conducted pertaining to the right of the Jewish people to the land by dint of international documents, we are convinced that our rights in Judea and Samaria are no less well-founded than the rights claimed by the Palestinians. These territories are subject to negotiations between us and the Palestinians, and until those negotiations are concluded, there is nothing to prevent us from building there, on condition that the construction is not done on private land.”...“We were mainly surprised by the level of chaos and mayhem that was characteristic of the manner in which the state handled all affairs related to the settlement enterprise. We were also surprised by the tremendous influence wielded by civilian and military prosecutors, who exercised authority to deliberate on matters that are best left to the courts.”
...A few years ago, Deputy Attorney-General Mike Blass astounded the political echelon when he submitted a legal opinion that was considered at the time to be revolutionary. The state was in the process of planning a high-speed railway line that would connect Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Millions of shekels were invested in the planning and construction process, which was viewed as a strategically significant endeavor. Israel Railways and the Transportation Ministry broke ground on the project. Soon afterward, however, Blass found that one of the tunnels encroaches 300 meters over the Green Line.
The laying of track beyond the Green Line would be making use of occupied land, Blass said. Citing the Geneva Conventions, he said this was permissible only if “the occupied population” (in this case, the Palestinians) were the beneficiaries of the project. Blass seemed to be oblivious to the fact that the Palestinians, like the Israelis, could travel on the train, just like they could on Route 443 (the Modi’in-Jerusalem highway) which also stretches over the Green Line.
As compensation, Blass posited that the state should also build a railway line that would link Ramallah and Gaza. Ever since, Blass took the lead on this issue — and effectively adopted the legal positions and worldviews championed by the likes of Peace Now and Yesh Din with regards to the status of Judea and Samaria — the state prosecutors have taken to employ the legalistic phrase “territories that are held in belligerent occupation” much more extensively. In less measured jargon, territories possessed in belligerent occupation are “occupied territories.”...