Full Text Israel Political Brief July 15, 2012: Text of US Jewish leaders’ letter to PM Benjamin Netanyahu on Levy settlement report



Text of Jewish leaders’ letter to Netanyahu on Levy settlement report

40 U.S. Jewish leaders sign Israel Policy Forum letter urging prime minister to reject document produced by panel headed by former Supreme Court justice Edmond Levy.

U.S. Jews to Netanyahu: Report urging state to legalize settlements will aid those seeking to delegitimize Israel

July 13, 2012

The Honorable Benjamin Netanyahu
Prime Minister of the State of Israel

Dear Mr. Prime Minister:

As strong advocates for Israel’s security and well-being as a Jewish and democratic state, we are deeply concerned about the recent findings of the government commission led by Supreme Court Jurist (Ret.) Edmund Levy. We fear that if approved, this report will place the two-state solution, and the prestige of Israel as a democratic member of the international community, in peril.
As you boldly stated in your address to the United States Congress last May, “I recognize that in a genuine peace, we’ll be required to give up parts of the ancestral Jewish homeland.” As you said clearly, doing so is not easy. While the Jewish people indeed share a biblical connection to the lands of Judea and Samaria, you told Congress, “there is another truth: The Palestinians share this small land with us. We seek a peace in which they’ll be neither Israel’s subjects nor its citizens. They should enjoy a national life of dignity as a free, viable and independent people living in their own state.”
Securing Israel’s future as a Jewish and democratic state requires diplomatic and political leadership, not legal maneuverings. We recognize and regret that the Palestinian Authority has abdicated leadership by not returning to the negotiating table. Nonetheless, our great fear is that the Levy Report will not strengthen Israel’s position in this conflict, but rather add fuel to those who seek to delegitimize Israel’s right to exist. At this moment, it is more critical than ever that Israel strengthen its claim in the international community that it is committed to a two-state vision, which is, in turn, central to Israel’s future as a Jewish and democratic state.
We are confident that with your deep understanding of the gravity of this situation, and your unprecedented political strength, you will ensure that adoption of this report does not take place.


Karen R. Adler
Jack C. Bendheim
Michael Berenbaum
Howard M. Bernstein
Charles R. Bronfman
Steven M. Cohen
Rabbi Marion Lev Cohen
Lester Crown
Thomas A. Dine
Rabbi David Ellenson
Edith Everett
Susie Gelman
E. Robert Goodkind
Stanley P. Gold
Rabbi Daniel Gordis
David A. Halperin
Harold R. Handler
Alan S. Jaffe
Peter A. Joseph
Rabbi Jeremy Kalmanofsky
Peter S. Kolevzon
Steven C. Koppel
Burton Lehman
Marvin Lender
Geoffrey H. Lewis
Deborah Lipstadt
Rabbi J. Rolando Matalon
Harriet Mouchly-Weiss
Burt Neuborne
Bernard Nussbaum
Richard Pearlstone
Marcia Riklis
Rabbi Jennie Rosenn
David Sable
Rabbi David Saperstein
Jeffrey R. Solomon
Joel D. Tauber
Melvyn I. Weiss
Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie
Michael D. Young
Lawrence Zicklin

Affiliations provided below for identification purposes only

Karen R. Adler (New York, NY) – Chair, Executive Committee of the Jewish Communal Fund

Jack C. Bendheim (New York, NY) – President & Chairman, Phibro Animal Health Corp.; former Chairman, IPF

Michael Berenbaum (Los Angeles, CA) – Director of the Sigi Ziering Institute: Exploring the Ethical and Religious Implications of the Holocaust at the American Jewish University; former Project Director of the US Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC

Howard M. Bernstein (Los Angeles, CA) – Emeritus Member of Board of Governors of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion; Honorary Board Member, Wilshire Boulevard Temple

Charles R. Bronfman (New York, NY; Montreal) – Chairman, Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies

Rabbi Marion Lev Cohen (New York, NY) – Board Member, Israel Policy Forum; Director of Adult Engagement, Central Synagogue

Steven M. Cohen (New York, NY) – Director of the Berman Jewish Policy Archive at New York University

Lester Crown (Chicago, IL) – Chairman of Henry Crown & Co.; Crown Family Philanthropies

Thomas A. Dine (Washington, DC) – Former Executive Director of AIPAC

Rabbi David Ellenson (New York, NY) – President, Hebrew Union College –Jewish Institute of Religion

Edith Everett (New York, NY) Co-founder and President, Everett Family Foundation

Susie Gelman (Washington, DC) – Immediate Past President, Jewish Federation of Greater Washington

Stanley P. Gold (Los Angeles, CA) – Chairman Emeritus, Jewish Federation of LA; President and CEO, Shamrock Holdings

E. Robert Goodkind (New York, NY) – Partner, Pryor Cashman LLP; former President, American Jewish Committee (’04-’07)

Rabbi Daniel Gordis (Jerusalem) – Senior Vice President and the Koret Distinguished Fellow at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem

David A. Halperin (New York, NY) – Executive Director, Israel Policy Forum

Harold R. Handler (New York, NY) – Former President, JCC in Manhattan; Former Chairman, Jewish Communal Fund; Board Member, Israel Policy Forum

Alan S. Jaffe (New York, NY) – President, Jewish Community Relations Council-NY; former President, UJA-Federation-NY; former Chairman, Proskauer

Peter A. Joseph (New York, NY) – Chairman, Israel Policy Forum

Rabbi Jeremy Kalmanofsky (New York, NY) – Temple Ansche Chesed

Peter S. Kolevzon (New York, NY) – Founding Chair and Past President, JCC in Manhattan

Steven C. Koppel (New York, NY) – Partner, JonesDay; Member, International Board of Governors, The Peres Center for Peace

Burton Lehman (New York, NY) – Former Chair and Member of the Board of Governors of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute Religion

Marvin Lender (Connecticut) – Former National Chairman, UJA

Geoffrey H. Lewis (Boston, MA) – Board Member, Israel Policy Forum

Deborah Lipstadt (Atlanta, GA) – Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish History and Holocaust Studies at Emory University

Rabbi J. Rolando Matalon (New York, NY) – Congregation Bnai Jeshurun

Harriet Mouchly-Weiss (New York, NY) – Board Member, Israel Policy Forum

Burt Neuborne (New York, NY) – Professor of Law, NYU

Bernard Nussbaum (New York, NY) – Former White House Counsel (’94); Partner, Wachtell Lipton, Rosen & Katz

Richard Pearlstone (Aspen, CO) – Former Chairman, Jewish Agency

Marcia Riklis (New York, NY) – Board member, Israel Policy Forum; General Campaign Co-Chair, UJA Federation-NY

Rabbi Jennie Rosenn (New York, NY) – Program Director, Jewish Life and Values, Nathan Cummings Foundation

David Sable (New York, NY) – Former Executive Board Member, UJA Federation-NY

Rabbi David Saperstein (Washington, DC) – Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism

Jeffrey R. Solomon (New York, NY) – President, Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies

Joel D. Tauber (Southfield, MI) – Former Chairman, National UJA; former National Chairman of Tel Aviv University: American Council

Melvyn I. Weiss (New York, NY) – Board Member, Israel Policy Forum

Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie (New York, NY) – President Emeritus, Union for Reform Judaism

Michael D. Young (New York, NY) – Board Member, Israel Policy Forum

Lawrence Zicklin (New York, NY) – Former President, UJA Federation-NY

Israel Political Brief July 15, 2012: 40 US Jewish Leaders Send Letter to PM Benjamin Netanyahu: Bury Levy Report — Includes Charles Bronfman, Daniel Gordis, Deborah Lipstadt



40 U.S. Jewish Leaders to Bibi: Bury Levy Report

Source: Israel National News, 7-15-12

Philanthropist Charles Bronfman, Shalem Center head Gordis among signatories who fear report will imperil Israel.
Delegates at AIPAC conference

Delegates at AIPAC conference
Hezki Ezra

More than 40 prominent American Jewish leaders and philanthropists sent a letter to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu Sunday in which they implored him not to approve the judicial report that says Jews may settle freely in Judea and Samaria….READ MORE

Israel Brief July 15, 2012: Massive Fire in Jerusalem Suburb Forces Residents to Flee



Massive fire in Jerusalem suburb forces residents to flee

Source: JTA, 7-15-12

A fire that forced residents of the Jerusalem suburb of Mevasseret Zion to evacuate their homes reportedly is under control…READ MORE »

Israel Political Brief July 15, 2012: PM Benjamin Netanyahu Orders Investigation into Case of Demonstrator Who set Himself on Fire During Tel Aviv Protest



Netanyahu orders probe into case of demonstrator who set himself alight

Source: JTA, 7-15-12

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the relevant ministries to look into the case of an Israeli social justice protester who set himself on fire at a Tel Aviv demonstration….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief July 15, 2012: Hezbollah Operative Arrested in Cyprus Allegedly was Planning Attacks on Israelis



Hezbollah operative arrested in Cyprus allegedly was planning attacks on Israelis

Source: JTA, 7-15-12

Police in Cyprus reportedly arrested a Lebanese man planning attacks on Israeli tourists….READ MORE

Full Text Israel Political Brief July 15, 2012: PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s Remarks at the Start of the Weekly Cabinet Meeting Discussing African Infiltrators



Following are Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s remarks at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting today:

“I spoke a short while ago with Be’er Sheva Mayor Rubik Danilovich. He was very, very excited because today we are dedicating the high-speed rail link, and now it will be 55 minutes from Be’er Sheva to Tel Aviv and from Tel Aviv to Be’er Sheva. This is down from 76 minutes and we will yet lower it to 45 minutes.

This is a revolution that we always dreamed about. We are carrying it out. It seems to me that this idea started when Silvan Shalom was Finance Minister and I am proud of the fact that we in this Government, with our energetic Transportation Minister, are realizing this, with support from the Finance Ministry. This is huge. At the same time, today we will also dedicate the high-speed line from Kiryat Gat to Tel Aviv – 32 minutes. I remind you that this takes much longer than most US and European cities, from the large cities – to go from the city center to the outskirts, than it takes today to go from central Tel Aviv to Kiryat Gat, and even to Be’er Sheva. This is a great cultural, social and national revolution that has to do with population dispersal, creating new possibilities and growth – I think that we can definitely be proud here that we are finally joining the periphery to the center, and the center to the periphery, and this has tremendous consequences, and therefore we are pleased to see the fruit of Government policy.”

Pursuant to the report that 12 infiltrators were detained over the weekend, 64 last week and 183 since the beginning of the month, the Prime Minister said:

“To compare, 1,000 infiltrators crossed last month. In May, there were 2,000. I remind you that all those who reached the border did not reach the border, sit there and wait for a ride to Tel Aviv or other localities in the State of Israel. This is not what happened. They came and were taken immediately to detention, and we have increased the number of holding places, we increased them thanks to vigorous Government action.

At the same time, this week we will complete the 200th kilometer of the fence. It will take us another few months to complete the 20 additional kilometers in the mountainous areas around Eilat and in the central part of the border with Egypt, and we are applying, I would say, great conscious pressure in Africa to explain to infiltrators that the rules of the game have changed.

Additionally, on my instructions, at the more or less weekly meeting that I hold on the issue of infiltrators – we are going to apply very great pressure on employers, first of all, via the tax authorities, so that they know that there are no free lunches here, and we have also advanced draft legislation to impose much sharper punishments on the employers. The infiltrators come here because they want work. As soon as they know that there is no work here, they will not come, and we still have much to do, and we are working in many areas, some of which I have not mentioned, but there is no doubt that regarding everything we have to do – we are changing the trend, and Israel is headed in the right direction in regard to dealing with a fundamental problem that threatens its Jewish and democratic character.”


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