Disengagement undermines Jews right to Israel

Disengagement undermines Jews right to Israel
By Jerusalem Newswire Editorial Staff

June 10th, 2005

Israeli High Court Justice Edmond Levy Thursday joined a growing chorus of experts warning that the planned surrender of Gaza and northern Samaria would ultimately weaken the Jews' claim to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's “disengagement” plan “will ultimately undermine the Jewish people's right to settle even in those parts of the land where there is a consensus that they should remain under Israeli sovereignty under any future agreement,” Ha'aretz quoted Levy as writing.

Levy was responding to the High Court's ruling earlier in the day that the expulsion of Jewish settlers from their homes was legal, and that in fact Jews had no right to live in
Judea, Samaria and Gaza (Yesha).

Levy was the only one out of 11 justices to vote against the ruling, which put an end to 12 petitions filed by settlers and their supporters and removed the final legal obstacle to implementation of the evacuation.

After consulting past League of Nation and United Nations decisions, Levy concluded that
Israel was not an “occupying power” in Yesha, but rather exercised sovereignty there both by historic right and “a right anchored in international law.”

He noted
Israel had never officially conceded this right in any of its agreements with the PLO.

Withdrawing now, however, would in the eyes of the Arab world and the West constitute a de facto relinquishing of this right, Levy cautioned.

Even without the nation's future to think of, Levy said the retreat plan should be thrown out due its gross violation of the settlers' property rights, their freedom to live where they choose, and their human dignity.

He said for a nation to treat its own citizens in such a manner, especially in order to appease an enemy, was “virtually unparalleled.”

Levy also attacked the contradiction between
Sharon's current policies and his 2003 election platform, calling the situation a major constitutional problem.

“The degree to which the prime minister and Likud MKs who support the disengagement have deviated from the principles on which they were elected to their posts is so great that it distorts the will of the voters and damages the principles of the democratic system,” he wrote.

Sharon's election campaign focused on rejecting the notion of withdrawing from the Gaza Strip, while his opponent, Labor Party chief Amram Mitzna, ran on a platform of unilateral withdrawal that mirrors the prime minister's current policies.

At the time,
Sharon convinced his supporters they were voting against withdrawal, only to completely change course once it was too late to stop him, Levy explained.

Despite all of this, Levy urged his ideological allies to accept the court's ruling and make the best of a difficult situation.

“All of us are obligated to obey the law, even if there are some who will be compelled to do so with gritted teeth.”

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