Category Archives: settlements

Netanyahu, freeze the settlements

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OneVoice counters Yesha Council by calling on Netanyahu to extend settlement freeze

The window for a two-state solution is rapidly closing. Renewed settlement building will devastate the trust being built during the proximity talks and any chances of returning to high level negotiations. The stakes have never been higher.

This is why OneVoice Israel (OVI) published on Monday an advertisement in the Hebrew language daily Maariv asking Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to stick to the principles of the Bar Ilan speech and maintain the settlement freeze.

“If they want to build they can’t speak of two states,” said OVI Executive Director Tal Harris. “We wanted to highlight their contradictions.”

OVI strategically highlighted the negative implications of settlement building, such as an increased isolation of Israel, a confused education system, and the unfortunate realities of a shared one-state nation.

The advertisement was a counter response to one from the Yesha Council, a group of municipal councils of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria (the biblical names for the West Bank), which called for Netanyahu and other Israeli government ministers to continue building settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories after the moratorium is lifted in September.

Translated Text of Advertisement

Leader Needs to Lead

The freezing must continue!

On the eve of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s meeting with President Obama, the OneVoice Movement and the moderate majority in Israel remind the ministers of the government: a word is a word, stick to the principles of the “Bar Ilan Speech” of Netanyahu.
An end to the freeze is the end to the two-state solution!
For this you were put in office by the moderate majority (not just by the Judea Samaria Council), because you promised to lead to peace and security.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: I said in Washington to President Obama, loud and clear: We will be ready, in a future peace settlement, to reach a solution with a demilitarized Palestinian state alongside the Jewish state.

Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya’alon: Is it not strategic enough for you to separate with an agreement from the four million Palestinians who live among us?

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman: Is it not better for you to be accepted amongst the nations of the world as the one who ended the historical conflict, rather than being denied entrance as a persona non-grata?

Internal Affairs Minister Eli Yishai: Already today 35% of Jerusalem’s residents are Palestinians. Is it not better for you to draw clear borders between us and the Palestinians rather than banishing children from the state?

Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz: Is it not better to invest in roads which we know for certain will be a part of the state of Israel, rather than investing in more bypass roads all over the West Bank?

Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar: The people want to return to the values of Zionism on which the state was founded: with a separation between Israel and the Palestinian nation. If the construction is renewed, could you also educate millions of Palestinian children into loving Zion?

Communications Minister Moshe Kachlon: Is your next battle against the fees that cellular companies charge going to be against the companies that are behind Palestinian cellular companies in a state without clear borders?

Minister Benny Begin: Are you ready to accept the case of a bi-national state?

Citizens of Israel the choice is in your hands! Imagine Israel in 2018.

OneVoice is an international grassroots movement that aims to amplify the voice of Israeli and Palestinian moderates, empowering them to seize back the agenda for conflict resolution and demand that their leaders achieve a two-state solution.

This is a true test for the two-state solution. You can ensure this opportunity is not missed by adding your voice: forward this e-mail to a friend, join OneVoice on Facebook, or make a donation.

Your actions today can change the events of tomorrow. Imagine 2018.

(By the way, in case it wasn’t obvious to our Green pro-boycott readers, OneVoice is hurt by boycott campaigns like the Green Party’s.)

Benjamin Pogrund on Israeli settlers in the West Bank

Benjamin Pogrund understands that an alternative to a two state solution is not a single state solution, but rather ongoing conflict and oppression. On Comment Is Free he hopes that Obama will keep Israel to its promise of removing the settlements.

He has written an informative, well-linked overview of the Israeli governments’ failures and cop-outs to date.

From the middle:

“The fact is that the settlers do pretty much as they want. Many are driven by religious messianic belief that God gave Judea and Samaria to Jews and it is their right and duty to keep it so forevermore. Although the settlers are a tiny minority of the Israeli population they have become the tail that wags the dog. Successive governments have backed away from reining them in out of fear of violent resistance.

The settlers and their supporters – who include those who believe in possession of the West Bank for security purposes – permeate the government. That has enabled the illegal siphoning off of millions upon millions of shekels from departmental budgets to provide houses, build roads and lay on electricity and water to settlements and outposts – and to guarantee permanent protection by the army.”

Via Engage.

Peace Now’s Settlements section, including How To Freeze Settlements: a Layman’s Guide.