Israeli decisions on housing starts objectionable and counterproductive to peace

August 11, 2011

J Street is deeply concerned by the government of Israel’s recent announcements of new approvals for construction of thousands of additional housing units over the Green Line.

In the weeks leading up to a possible United Nations vote on Palestinian statehood, such provocative decisions undermine diplomatic efforts to move Israelis and Palestinians toward a two-state solution and avert a United Nations vote. Efforts to portray the housing decisions as a legitimate response to the ongoing protests in Israel over the cost of living in general, and of housing in particular, are a manipulative ploy by those who oppose a two-state solution.

Israel frequently criticizes the Palestinians for unilateral actions – in particular, the plan to go to the United Nations; but Israel continues the unilateral settlement project by building beyond the Green Line. Coming at this delicate time, these housing decisions are objectionable, dangerous and raise serious doubt on the Netanyahu government’s stated desire to return to negotiations.

J Street echoes the “profound disappointment” of the European Union and the view of the United States, announced earlier this week, that actions such as these “contradict the logic” of working toward an agreed-upon two-state solution that ensures Israel’s security over the long-run.