Our community can’t stay silent

Brooke Davies Image
Brooke Davies
on September 1, 2016

What’s happening in the Palestinian village of Susya should be unacceptable for American Jewish leaders. That’s why J Street U is asking them to speak out.

Susya has been facing the threat of demolition, as part of the ongoing, destructive process of settlement expansion and creeping annexation in the West Bank. This deteriorating situation threatens the two-state solution — and any hope of a peaceful future for Israelis and Palestinians.

In part because of the work that J Street and J Street U have done to mobilize voices against this move, the Israeli government’s decision about the demolition of the village has been delayed until November 15.

In the meantime, we’re not going to ease the pressure.

Earlier this month I was elected the president of J Street U’s national student board at our Summer Leadership Institute in Washington. At SLI, over 100 of our top leaders from over 50 campuses gathered to strategize our next steps.

We need to act.


As our first step, we’re issuing a public letter calling on Jewish communal leaders to speak up against the destruction of Susya.

Last Friday, August 27, we sent a letter signed by over 100 students to the heads of the Jewish Federations of North America, Jewish Council for Public Affairs, Anti-Defamation League and the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism. These organizations all support the two-state solution, and they all believe in the need for Israel to be a Jewish and democratic state. That means they can’t sit idly by while destructive actions put these basic goals at risk.

These groups have real influence as representatives of our community — and they have a responsibility to speak out when our interests and values are being undermined. Organizations guided by Jewish values and concern for Israel cannot stay silent while the conflict is being perpetuated and innocent people are losing their homes. We applaud those groups and leaders who have already spoken out against the proposed demolition of Susya.

You can read the public letter here. Over the next month, we’ll be following up with these leaders and urging them to act before it’s too late.

And our push is just one prong of a wider effort by J Street to confront the forces –- both in the US and Israel -– that are actively working to change facts on the ground to undermine a two-state solution.

You’ll be hearing more about what you can do to support the wider effort this week. In the meantime we need your support — and there are a few simple ways that you can help advance J Street U’s work:

  1. Know students that would be interested in getting involved with this effort and linking up with J Street U on campus? Tell them to email us at [email protected].
  2. J Street U provides opportunities like our Summer Leadership Institute at minimal cost to students thanks to generous sponsors like you. Consider a donation to J Street to support our work on campus.
  3. If you have relationships with the leadership of the groups mentioned in this email and would be willing to reach out about Susya, please let us know by replying to this email.

Thanks for your support,

Brooke Davies
President, J Street U