J Street is deeply worried by reports that the Israeli Defense Ministry this week plans to ask Israel’s High Court of Justice for permission to demolish the Palestinian village of Susya within the next two months.
Susya is one of several Palestinian villages in Area C of the West Bank whose residents have been repeatedly targeted for eviction by the Israeli government and by settlement movement activists. This is part of a destructive long-term pattern of evictions and demolitions that destroy vulnerable communities and pave the way for the construction and expansion of Israeli settlements on territory that should form part of a future Palestinian state. The totally unnecessary destruction of Susya would be a tragedy for its residents and another terrible blow to the prospects for a two-state solution.
We call on the State Department to take action and make clear to Israeli authorities that the demolition of Susya would be unacceptable and extremely detrimental to the pursuit of peace. In the past, pressure from the State Department, other Israeli allies and leaders of the American Jewish community has successfully convinced the Israeli authorities to put off the demolition of Susya. It is now vital that these voices again urge the Israeli government to adopt new building plans that respect the rights of Susya and other Palestinian communities throughout Area C.
J Street and J Street U leaders have met with residents of Susya, visited their community and gotten to understand their brave determination to live in peace and security on their own land and in their own homes. We will continue to do everything that we can to advocate on their behalf and for a better future for both Israelis and Palestinians.