J Street opposes Israel’s plans to seize some 380 acres of land in the occupied West Bank for the use of settlers.
The move has already been condemned by the United States, the Secretary-General of the United Nations and other governments. The largest appropriation since August 2014, it will be certainly seen by Palestinians as a provocation. It will heighten tensions in the region, which are already near breaking point; it will further isolate Israel in the international community and erect yet another obstacle to an eventual peaceful resolution of the conflict through a two-state solution.
J Street echoes and endorses the statement of Deputy State Department spokesman Mark Toner who called this decision “fundamentally incompatible with a two-state solution and calls into question the Israeli government’s commitment to a two-state solution.” Indeed, it has become increasingly clear that Prime Minister Netanyahu’s pro forma declarations that he still favors a two-state solution cannot be taken seriously.
The United States should do more than just issue a statement of condemnation. It should revert to calling the settlements illegal under international law. The administration should also proactively work with its partners in the United Nations Security Council now discussing a resolution addressing settlement expansion in hope of forging a balanced text that could be adopted by the entire international community.