The Levy committee was born in sin to make the occupation more palatable

The media reported yesterday that Minister Silvan Shalom said in a closed election meeting that the selection of Judge Edmond Levy, and the other members of the committee that composed the report to examine construction in Judea and Samaria, was politically motivated.

Shalom's comments prove what was long known: the Levy committee was born in sin to legalize the crime of the occupation and the illegal settlement enterprise. Now we learned that it was not a professional committee at all, but a biased committee whose mission was to promote the government's political agenda and bypass the attorney general's powers. The Levy report is one more unfortunate example of the continuous erosion of the rule of law by the government of Israel, all for the sake of a controversial political purpose. We call on the government of Israel to renounce the committee's conclusions and avoid any further violation of the rights of the Palestinians of the West Bank.

Yesh Din refused to appear before the committee, as stated in a strongly worded letter addressed to the committee's members last April. The letter further stated that the committee was appointed in order to bypass the Attorney General, and therefore its very creation constituted a violation of the principles of the rule of law.

The report published by the committee suffers from basic defects that contradict and ignore Israeli and international law, all in order to advance the ideology in the service of which the report was commissioned. If the committee's conclusions are adopted, they will erode what little protection is given to Palestinian rights in the West Bank and legalize land theft, which will put Israel in conflict with the whole world.

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