The Israeli government’s intensified settlement drive is jeopardizing Israel’s survival as a Jewish and democratic state, and now threatens to damage its historic alliance with the United States.
State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland accused the Israeli government of continuing “a pattern of provocative action,” in a statement that used new language clearly expressing the administration’s exasperation with the Netanyahu government’s decisions.
Indeed, it is difficult to keep track of what feel like almost daily announcements of major settlement expansion. This time it was 2,600 units in Givat Hamatos, earlier this week it was 1,500 in Ramat Shlomo, before that it was thousands in E1. Each of these projects presents an obstacle to a two-state solution, but if we connect the dots, they form an arrow pointing towards the day when Israel will face the unfathomable choice between its Jewish and its democratic character.
As Jewish Americans with Israel’s best interests in mind, it is upsetting to see discord between the US and Israel. But we fear that if this settlement entrenchment does not end, it will strain the US-Israel relationship and Israel will grow increasingly isolated in the world.
That must not happen. There is a vacuum of leadership on this issue, in the lead up to Israeli elections and the US presidential inauguration. We need action today, to end this pattern before it spirals out of control, and to end this conflict once and for all.