Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Breaking News

White House Blasts Israeli Report on Occupation

The Obama administration criticized an Israeli panel finding that West Bank settlements are legal under international law.

“We do not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity and we oppose any effort to legalize settlement outposts,” State Department Spokesman Patrick Ventrell told reporters Monday evening in answer to a question about the Levy committee report. Ventrell added that the State Department is “concerned about it, obviously.”

US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns could bring up the report during meetings this week in Israel. Burns will be in Israel with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, as she visits the region.

The Levy committee, which was formed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and headed by former Israeli Supreme Court Justice Edmond Levy, said in its 89-page report released late Sunday that “Israel does not meet the criteria of ‘military occupation’ as defined under international law” in the West Bank, and that therefore settlements and West Bank outposts are legal.

The report , which calls for the legalization of all outposts and allowing people who built homes on Palestinian-owned land to pay compensation to the alleged owners, recommends changing the legal regulations concerning Jewish settlement in the West Bank in the areas of zoning, demolitions and building.

Dovish Jewish groups in the United States criticized the report.

Americans for Peace Now in a statement called on the government of Israel “to repudiate the findings of the commission it appointed to address the problem of illegal outposts in the West Bank. APN calls on other US Jewish groups that support the two-state solution to raise their voices in opposition to this report.”

The groups said that the adoption by the government of the report “would cause terrible damage to its international standing, to its relationship with the United States, and to prospects for peace with the Palestinians and the Arab world.”

J Street called on the Israeli government “to reject the committee’s recommendations and to choose instead a path that leads to two states, thereby securing both Israel’s Jewish and democratic future.”

The findings of the committee are subject to the review and approval of Israeli Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein.

Netanyahu established the committee in January after settler leaders called for a response to the 2005 Sasson Report on illegal outposts, which concluded that more than 100 West Bank settlements and outposts constructed from the 1990s and forward were illegal.

Engage

  • SHARE YOUR FEEDBACK

  • UPCOMING EVENT

    SKY & SCULPTURE

    Hybrid: Online and at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan

    Oct 2, 2022

    6:30 pm ET · 

    A Sukkah, IMKHA, created by artist Tobi Kahn, for the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan is an installation consisting of 13 interrelated sculpted painted wooden panels, constituting a single work of art. Join for a panel discussion with Rabbi Joanna Samuels, Chief Executive Director of the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan, Talya Zax, Innovation Editor of the Forward, and Tobi Kahn, Artist. Moderated by Mattie Kahn.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.