One of the members of the Levy Committee on the legality of settlements in the territories has angrily rebuffed the protest letter against its final report sent to Prime Minister Netanyahu earlier this week, accusing its signatories of “insulting” the Committee members, making “incorrect and ill-advised assumptions” and of providing ammunition to those seeking to delegitimize Israel.
In a letter addressed to the Israeli Policy Forum, which initiated and sponsored the protest letter, former Foreign Ministry legal adviser and Ambassador to Canada Alan Baker expresses doubt whether the American leaders and scholars who signed the letter “have actually read the contents of the report,” because it is in Hebrew and it has not been translated into English. “From the content and tenor of the letter, I suspect that the signatories are basing themselves on selective media reports and other sources that in fact bear no relation whatsoever to the actual content of the Levy Commission report itself,” Baker wrote.
The IPF letter that criticized the report was signed by 41 American leaders and scholars, including Rabbi Daniel Gordis, Charles Bronfman, Lester Crown, Tom Dine, Professor Deborah Lipstadt, Rabbi Eric Yoffie and Marcia Riklis. The letter urged Prime Minister Netanyahu to “ensure that the adoption of this letter does not take place.”
Baker, who served on the Committee together with former Supreme Court judge Edmund Levy and former Tel Aviv District Court judge Tchia Shapira, rejects the protesters claim that the report jeopardizes the two-state solution and “adds fuel to those who seek to legitimize Israel’s right to exist.” Baker writes that such a claim is devoid of any basis “other than insulting to myself and the other members of the Commission in light of our respective contributions to the welfare and prestige of Israel.”
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