We are pro-Israel organizations writing to urge you to help prevent the forced displacement of approximately 1,000 Palestinians from their homes in the area of Masafer Yatta in the occupied West Bank. We ask you to raise this issue and make clear the United States’ firm opposition to such displacement in your upcoming trip to Israel.
Earlier this year, the Israeli government won its bid to have the Israeli Supreme Court greenlight the forced displacement of at least 1,000 Palestinians from their homes in several of the Masafer Yatta villages in the South Hebron Hills. This would be the largest mass eviction of Palestinian families in decades, and the demolition of homes in the area has already begun.
Dozens of US Senators and Representatives wrote to Secretary of State Antony Blinken in May, concerned that “this relocation of Palestinian families from homes they have lived on for generations could spark violence, is in direct violation of international humanitarian law, and could further undermine efforts to reach a two-state solution.”
“As supporters of a strong U.S.-Israel relationship, we believe such evictions undermine our shared democratic values, imperil Israel’s security, and disregard Palestinian human and civil rights,” the lawmakers wrote. “We respectfully request that you immediately engage with the Israeli government to prevent these evictions and further military training exercises in the area.”
As lifelong advocates for Israel’s security and survival as the democratic homeland of the Jewish people, we echo these lawmakers’ call and believe it is vital that you firmly and unequivocally oppose these harmful displacements. We stand ready to welcome and amplify such a message delivered in your upcoming trip to Israel and the West Bank.
Ameinu, Americans for Peace Now, Habonim Dror North America, Hashomer Hatzair USA, Israel Policy Forum, Jewish Labor Committee, J Street, National Council of Jewish Women, New Israel Fund, New York Jewish Agenda, Partners for Progressive Israel, Reconstructing Judaism, Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association, T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights & Union for Reform Judaism