J Street statement on Hebron, East Jerusalem settlements

April 4th, 2012

J Street appreciates the Government of Israel’s decision today to evacuate Israeli settlers from a house in Hebron, ending a weeklong stand off between the settler community in the city and Israel’s Defense Ministry. While the decision was no doubt a difficult one, we strongly agree with Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s assessment that it comes down to a fundamental matter of respect for “rule of law” upon which democracies depend.

We were, though, also deeply concerned to learn that that the Housing Ministry had, on the same day, issued tenders for hundreds of new housing units in East Jerusalem. The majority of the new units would comprise a further extension of the flashpoint neighborhood of Har Homa, fortifying the divide between Jerusalem and Bethlehem and thus undermining the prospects for reaching a two-state agreement.