Sustainable Energy for Sustainable Peace

Tell Ambassador Oren: Stop the demolition of sustainable energy sources in the West Bank. 

As a pro-Israel, pro-peace American, I am deeply troubled to learn of the demolition orders recently served on the solar panels and wind turbines built by COMET-ME, an Israeli NGO working to bring sustainable energy to villages in Area C of the West Bank that are unable to access the electrical grid.

These systems provide the basic necessities of life for the villages that depend on them, and provide much needed electricity to areas not served by the IDF Civil Administration. Women who previously churned butter for hours by hand can now devote their days to other endeavors. Villagers that had little ability to contact others in the case of emergency can now charge their cell phones. And the process by which these systems are built -- with Israelis and Palestinians working arm in arm -- provide much needed opportunities for mutual recognition and collaboration.

In addition, these solar panels and windmills allow villagers to stay on land they have lived on for generations, land that will eventually be part of a Palestinian state when a two-state solution is finally reached. Without electricity, many villagers may leave their homes, and in so doing alter the demographic reality of the region in ways that make achieving peace all the more difficult.

Electricity should be provided to these villages, not denied. I am writing to ask that you work with Ehud Barak, the Minister of Defense responsible for Area C of the West Bank, to ensure that these systems remain and that basic access to electricity is extended to all those that live in Israel and the West Bank.

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