We’ve arrived at a moment of truth for every organization in the American Jewish community that claims to support a two-state solution.
Before our very eyes, the Netanyahu government is moving forward with new settlements and settlement expansions that would cement Israel’s control over the West Bank and consign Palestinians to disconnected enclaves with limited autonomy.
For many years, AIPAC and other prominent establishment organizations voiced support for the two-state solution while downplaying the obstacle that settlement expansion poses to that outcome.
These organizations frequently lament Palestinian actions that “make peace harder to achieve” while remaining silent about Israel’s policies in the West Bank, which entrench the occupation, undermine trust and carve out territory from a future Palestinian state.
With the announcement of construction in E-1 and Givat Hamatos, that silence has become untenable. Israeli security officials will be the first to tell you that building in E-1 will make the creation of a viable Palestinian state impossible.
This is a dangerous moment for the state of Israel, for the Palestinian people and for Americans who have worked tirelessly to work for an Israel our children and grandchildren can be proud of. There is limited time to speak up and push back before Netanyahu moves forward with these projects and dooms Israelis and Palestinians to perpetual occupation and conflict without end.
Jewish establishment leaders who fail to act will bear considerable responsibility for the damage these moves cause to Israel’s democratic character, its international standing and the freedom and security of Israelis and Palestinians.
Please, speak out.
In recent days, the Netanyahu government has announced a series of new settlements and settlement expansions, which severely threaten the chances for a negotiated agreement to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
These projects have been referred to by experts as ‘doomsday settlements’ because they bisect Palestinian population areas and, in the case of the E-1 settlement, cut through the West Bank in a way designed to prevent the creation of a contiguous Palestinian state with a capital in East Jerusalem. That’s why the international community considers these projects red lines and why the Israeli government has chosen not to move forward with construction in these areas. Until now.