Senate Letter Challenges Home Demolitions and Settlement Expansion in the West Bank

November 29, 2017

Ten US senators today sent to Prime Minister Netanyahu a powerful and important warning that ongoing home demolitions and settlement expansion in the West Bank pose a serious threat to the prospects for a two-state solution and to Israel’s future.

Led by Senators Dianne Feinstein and Bernie Sanders and joined by prominent lawmakers including Democratic Whip Sen. Dick Durbin and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, the letter urges the Israeli government not to demolish the West Bank Palestinian villages of Susya and Khan al Ahmar. Both of these communities are currently facing the imminent threat of evacuations and demolitions, and have been targeted by settlement movement activists seeking to entrench the Israeli occupation and prevent the ultimate creation of an independent Palestinian state.

J Street was proud to support and advocate for this letter, and we welcome it is as a sign that top lawmakers are increasingly speaking out about alarming actions by the Israeli government that undermine the two-state solution and endanger Israel’s future as a democratic homeland for the Jewish people.

As the letter tells the prime minister, “[Y]our government’s efforts to forcibly evict entire Palestinian communities and expand settlements throughout the West Bank not only directly imperil a two-state solution, but we believe also endanger Israel’s future as a Jewish democracy. We urge you to change course so that you do not foreclose the possibility of establishing two states for two peoples.”

J Street and J Street U this month launched a new student-led campaign, “Stop Demolitions, Build Peace,” to raise awareness about the threat that these demolitions pose to the two-state solution and to Palestinian communities. In the absence of serious leadership by the Trump administration to condemn these Israeli policies, it is vital that elected officials and Jewish communal leaders take action to defend Israel’s future.

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