J Street welcomes the Israeli government’s indefinite postponement of all formal discussion on proposed new settlement construction in the highly sensitive West Bank area of E-1. We hope that this important decision will ultimately prevent the highly dangerous project from ever moving forward.
While all settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank imperils Israel’s future, tramples on Palestinian rights and violates international law, proposed construction in E-1 would be particularly destructive. It would directly and deliberately disrupt the territorial contiguity of a future Palestinian state, making it even more difficult for Israelis and Palestinians to ultimately resolve their conflict through a peaceful two-state solution. That’s why the E-1 plans in particular have generated so much alarm from experts, activists and lawmakers in Israel, the US and the international community.
As prominent Israeli politicians and security leaders have themselves consistently made clear, ongoing settlement expansion and deepening occupation harms Israel’s security and severely endangers Israel’s future as a democratic homeland for the Jewish people, while perpetuating an unacceptable injustice against the Palestinian people. That’s why it’s critically important that the Biden Administration, Congress and all those who care about the future of both peoples take strong, meaningful action to oppose these policies.
This decision shows once again that both internal and external pushback on Israeli government decision-makers can make an extremely important and positive impact. We thank the 26 members of Congress — led by Rep. Mark Pocan — who late last year sent a letter to Secretary of State Blinken “urg[ing] the State Department to exert diplomatic pressure to prevent settlement construction in E1″ and commend the Biden Administration, which reportedly strongly urged Israeli leaders to halt these plans.