J Street is deeply concerned by last night’s forced eviction of a Palestinian family and the demolition of their home in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah.
As the entire world saw just last May, the ongoing effort by settler organizations and Israeli authorities to displace Palestinian families from the East Jerusalem homes and neighborhoods where they have lived for decades is extremely dangerous and unjust. It has the potential to spark a violent escalation not only in Jerusalem itself, but across Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory.
The eviction of this family in the middle of the night by Israeli police, from the home where the family has lived for decades, is incendiary and harmful. While the details of each of the multitude of pending eviction cases in East Jerusalem are all unique, they ultimately reflect an underlying status quo of deepening occupation and creeping annexation across the West Bank and in East Jerusalem. This is an ongoing, systemic injustice that severely undermines the prospects for ever reaching a two-state peace agreement, imperils Israel’s own future as a democratic homeland for the Jewish people, and tramples on Palestinian rights.
One year into the tenure of the Biden Administration and eight months since events in Jerusalem helped trigger the last horrific escalation in Israeli-Palestinian violence, far too little has been done to attempt to break this destructive cycle or address the root causes of the conflict. We continue to urge the Biden Administration to take bold, public action to promote peace and to stop the unchecked slide toward one state and permanent occupation.
In particular, we call on the administration to investigate whether any US-supplied defense equipment was used to help carry out this eviction and demolition in violation of US law. In addition, we call on Members of Congress to advance legislation that makes clear that our security assistance funds and equipment cannot be used to carry out actions that violate international law and ultimately do lasting harm to the best interests of both peoples.