Gideon Levy

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Gideon Levy

Gideon Levy is a journalist for the left leaning Israeli newspaper Haaretz. Levy is also a prominent left-wing commentator who was previously a spokesman for Shimon Peres from 1978 to 1982.

Mr Levy was born in 1955 in Tel Aviv, the son of Jewish immigrants from Europe. From 1986 has written extensively in Haaretz on 'the occupation of Gaza and the West Bank and Palestinian life under that occupation'. In 1996 he was awarded the Emil Grunzweig Human Rights Award by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel. The French newspaper Le Monde has described him as a 'thorn in Israel's flank'.

Political views

Levy himself has spoken of his 'modest mission to prevent a situation in which many Israelis will be able to say, "We didn't know".' A recurrent theme in his articles is what he describes as Israeli society's 'moral blindness' to the effects of its acts of war and occupation in Gaza and the West Bank. He has criticized Israel's government for refusing to stop the construction of settlements on private Palestinian land, describing the policy as 'the most criminal enterprise in [Israel's] history'. He decries an attitude which reflects, he believes, Israel's systematic dehumanization of its neighbors.

During the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict, he shared the minority view among Israeli commentators which dismissed the idea that it was a 'just war', of the kind in which civilian casualties were both inevitable and acceptable. He is for the unilateral return of the Occupied Palestinian Territories without asking for concessions.

"Israel is not being asked "to give" anything to the Palestinians; it is only being asked to return - to return their stolen land and restore their trampled self-respect, along with their fundamental human rights and humanity. This is the primary core issue, the only one worthy of the title, and no one talks about it any more. No one is talking about morality anymore. Justice is also an archaic concept, a taboo that has deliberately been erased from all negotiations. Two and a half million people - farmers, merchants, lawyers, drivers, daydreaming teenage girls, love-smitten men, old people, women, children and combatants using violent means for a just cause - have all been living under a brutal boot for 40 years. Meanwhile, in our cafes and living rooms the conversation is over giving or not giving. . . Just as a thief cannot present demands - neither preconditions nor any other terms - to the owner of the property he has robbed, Israel cannot present demands to the other side as long as the situation remains as it is."

While working in Gaza in early 2007 with a French film crew that was making a documentary about him, Levy declared on camera that the Gazans' plight made him ashamed to be an Israeli.


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