We welcome the news of yesterday’s peaceful evacuation of five buildings in accord with the Israeli Supreme Court’s ruling that they were built illegally on private Palestinian land.
Recognizing the real personal and political implications for the individuals involved and for the country as a whole, we applaud the residents for adhering to the ruling and the Israeli forces that facilitated the evacuation without incident. Their actions affirm the fundamental strength of Israel’s democracy.
We remain deeply troubled, however, that the net result of the Ulpana evacuation is an overall expansion of the settlement enterprise in light of the government’s decision to build 850 additional settlement units in the West Bank. We are hopeful that the peaceful evacuation of this settlement outpost will set a precedent for the others that must follow if there is to be a viable two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict necessary to preserve Israel as a democratic Jewish homeland.