I woke up to this smiling face today though it’s not as bad as what Edmond Levy and his panel of dreamers just released to the Israeli Prime Minister’s office.
Israel’s judicial underbelly is a mess. Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was acquitted in two major cases of corruption and found guilty in another case for breaching trust, Haaretz reports. He has yet to be tried for his documented crimes against Lebanese and Gazan civilian populations during the various invasions he helped mastermind.
Even more wild is the Levy Committee’s “findings” on Israel’s status in the West Bank. The panel, appointed by Prime Minister Netanyahu and steered by former Supreme Court justice Edmond Levy, “rejects the claim that Israel’s presence in the territory is that of an occupying force and asserts that its settlements and settlement outposts there are legal.” The committee’s claims are based on its reasoning that any structure built with government encouragement (which, let’s be real here, means every Jewish settlement) holds an “administrative assurance” that confers permission to settlers to continue colonizing Palestinian land.
According to the Levy Committee, the West Bank is not at all occupied. In fact, the panel suggests opening the West Bank to all Israeli settlers, to overwrite and override land registries under Palestinian names, and to legalize all Jewish settlements, now and in the future.
But the report is flawed from the get-go and it makes me wonder why it is taken seriously in the first place. By asserting that the West Bank is not under Israeli occupation, the committee is classifying the West Bank in one of two ways. Either it is a sovereign territory belonging to someone else or it actually falls within Israel’s borders (an ever-shifting affair).
There is an overbearing Israeli military presence in the territory so we can eliminate the possibility of it being a sovereign land. The only other option, that the West bank is an Israeli territory, is just so farfetched that it defies the last six and a half decades worth of politics.
More important, however, are the implications such an assertion can have on Palestinian and non-Jewish residents of the West Bank. These groups of people would remain citizenshipless. The Palestinians in particular would be targeted, isolated, and far removed from the civil liberties afforded to settlers. This is a major cornerstone of apartheid.
In short, the Levy Committee argues one main point, that Israel is not an occupier but is, instead, a proud apartheid state.