The Israeli government’s decision to indefinitely delay the demolition of the West Bank Palestinian village of Khan al-Ahmar shows that organized international opposition can make a powerful impact on Israeli policies in the West Bank. European leaders, members of Congress and activists in the US and around the world have made clear that the demolition of this community would harm innocent families and seriously undermine the prospects for a two-state solution.
J Street is proud to continue to play a significant role in this effort. Through the student-led “Stop Demolitions, Build Peace” campaign — which partners directly with Khan al-Ahmar and other communities under threat — we have raised awareness about demolitions and mobilized opposition on campus, in the American Jewish community and on Capitol Hill. We strongly supported important congressional letters from ten senators and 76 representatives calling on Prime Minister Netanyahu to bring a halt to demolitions and settlement expansion. We have contributed to a global wave of concern that even Prime Minister Netanyahu and his right-wing government have found difficult to ignore.
While this announcement is a welcome and encouraging development, Khan al-Ahmar is still under severe threat of being destroyed in the near future. News reports suggest that the prime minister, under pressure from far-right ministers and activists, remains determined to ultimately carry out the demolition. To secure lasting protection for Khan al-Ahmar and other vulnerable communities in the West Bank, it is imperative that all those who have worked to oppose demolitions keep up our work — and that many more voices in Congress, the American Jewish community and beyond join our efforts.