Beliefnet
Progressive Revival

It is time to get serious about stopping ALL Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank.  All moderate Americans and Israelis should rally behind President Obama in applying pressure on Netanyahu to stop these illegal settlements that are devastating both for Israeli security and Palestinian lives.  

President Obama made it clear in his address in Cairo to the Muslim world that the settlements must stop (just as chaos and violence from the Palestinian side must stop) in order to build a sustainable peace.  In response the settlers made disrespectful Obama Huts.  Given how much the United States gives in support of our ally Israel, and how the Israeli government is supporting the settlements it grieves me to think that these “Obama Huts” are being paid for by American taxpayers like me.

According to Brit Tzedek vShalom The Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace the settlements continue to be built: 


On Tuesday, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak authorized the building of 300 new homes in the West Bank settlement of Talmon.


No clearer statement could be made of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s intent to fight President Obama’s settlement policy. Netanyahu, in an effort to detract from the conversation, even went so far as to say: “I think that the more we spend time arguing about this, the more we waste time instead of moving towards peace.” In his talks with Secretary of State Clinton, Israeli Foreign Minister Lieberman said bluntly: “We cannot accept this vision absolutely, completely freezing these settlements. I think we must keep natural growth.”


Brit Tzedek vShalom has started a petition called “We’ve Got Your Back on the Settlement Freeze Mr. President” and I encourage you to go sign it.  There will  be some who try to paint this pressure as “anti-Israel” – this is false.  Just as opposing the Iraq war was not anti-American, but instead a sound and correct assessment of foreign policy, so is opposing settlements a pro-Israel stance which looks towards the longtime welfare of a cherished friend of America.

The stakes are very high. Whether they are built based on cynical realpolitik or isolationist scriptural literalism there is no time for settlement recklessness any more.   Moderate and progressive Israelis and Americans must rally behind President Obama and pressure Netanyahu to permanently dismantle the settlements in the West Bank.

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