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The Office for Israeli Constitutional Law
Attorney Howard Grief's Letter Addressed to Ms. Arlene Kushner regarding the Levy Report on The Legal Status of Building in Judea and Samaria
4 Shevat, 5773
January 15, 2013
Thanks for your kind letter of December 16, 2012. It came when I was in hospital for a badly injured right leg that I sustained after a bad fall in my home. I remained in hospital for about a month and presently I am undergoing physical therapy to restore my walking ability to its former, bettercondition
This is my first opportunity to answer your letter. Please accept my apologies for the delay that was beyond my control.
As to the Levy Report, I fully support your campaign to promote its adoption by the Netanyahu Government which commissioned it. In this regard, at the invitation of a very close friend of mine from England, I attended a marvelous JNF-UK affair held in Jerusalem at the King David Hotel on November 26 & 27, 2012 shortly before I was hospitalised where Strategic Affairs Minister, Moshe Ya'alon, was a guest speaker. I had the honour to ask him the first question which was whether the Government intended to adopt the all-important Levy Report and, if so, when it would do so? He answered positively to the effect that the Government will wait until after the elections take place on January 22, 2013 before it would announce its decision to accept it. So if Minister Ya'alon is right, and apparently he has inside knowledge, then we have nothing to worry about.
Let us hope that Moshe Ya'alon, the best minister in the present Cabinet, who opposes the suicidal American sponsored Two-State absurdity for a new partition of our country, will replace Ehud Barak as Defence Minister when the new Government is formed. This will give Ya'alon direct responsibility to legalise all the so-called "hilltop settlements" in Judea and Samaria pursuant to the conclusions of the Levy Report that all Israeli settlements established there are perfectly legal under international law as well as, I may add, under Israeli constitutional law contrary to the blind position of the members making up the artificial conglomerate known as the Quartet. The Levy Report also rightfully disregards the ridiculous non-binding judgment rendered in 2004 by the biased, pro-Arab and anti-Zionist judges of the International Court of Justice that is nothing more than a UN-created body that lacks real independence or impartiality. On that court that dispensed "injustice" concerning the legality of Israel's security barrier in Judea and Samaria, there sat two very biased Arab judges, one of whom is now the Secretary-General of the Arab League and the other subsequently for a brief time became the Prime Minister of Jordan. Other judges were from third world countries who were simply ignorant and stone-deaf of all acts of international law formulated between 1918 to 1925 which made Jewish (and now Israeli) settlements in all of Palestine legal under international law. The same ignorance also prevailed in regard to the American and British appointed judges of the Court even if they were less biased than their colleagues on the bench.
A second important conclusion of the Levy Report is that Judea and Samaria cannot be classified as occupied territory" under international law. This represents a most significant change from Israeli Government policy of long duration and, just as importantly, from the Supreme Court decisions to treat Judea and Samaria as "occupied territories" ever since the landmark 1979 Elon Moreh judgment rendered by the late Moshe Landau who misinterpreted Israeli constitutional law. That means that Jews have the legal right to live and settle anywhere in Judea and Samaria which the Mandate for Palestine and the Franco-British Boundary Convention of December 23, 1920 recognised as integral parts of the Jewish National Home and hence are included within the eternal national patrimony of the Jewish People, and concomitantly excluded from Arab "Palestinian" pretensions to the same land.
Under Israeli constitutional law, Judea and Samaria should have been incorporated into the State of Israel as soon as the IDF had taken effective possession of these Jordanian occupied areas of the Jewish National Home in the Six-Day War of June 1967. Had that been done, as the existing constitutional law required it to be done, there would be no question today of the legality of Israeli settlements in Judea and Samaria. The fact that it was not done, coupled with the application of the laws of war embodied in the 1907 Hague Regulations and the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention, thanks to the erroneous legal advice tendered to the Eshkol National Unity Government by then Military Advocate-General Meir Shamgar, later the President of the Supreme Court, gave the mistaken impression to the entire world, including many in Israel itself, that Judea, Samaria, Gaza, the Golan Heights and the Sinai were indeed "occupied territories" when nothing could have been further from the legal truth. It is never too late to correct this monumental violation of Israeli constitutional law that perfectly accords with international law that Palestine and the Land of Israel belong exclusively to the Jewish People.
I wish you well in your campaign to promote the Levy Report in support of our legal rights to our land.
As requested, I am very happy to be an "Associate of the Coalition" in formation and gladly lend my name to your blessed effort.
(Personal details edited out by OFICL)
Attorney Howard Grief is the founder of the Office for Israeli Constitutional Law and the Author of The Legal Foundation and Borders of Israel under International Law, published by Mazo Publishers, Jerusalem