Last night at AIPAC's gala dinner in Washington DC, Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu defended settlement expansion in Jerusalem by insisting on the historic right of Jews to build anywhere in the city, including in its eastern section.
Today he will meet with U.S. President Obama and say the same.
But Netanyahu is wrong, and Secretary of State Clinton and President Obama, who have called for a settlement freeze as the first step towards a true peace, are right. East Jerusalem was illegally annexed in 1967. The 1,600 Jewish-only housing units the government has approved for construction in that part of the city are illegal according to international law.
Our message for AIPAC, the Israeli government, and all those opposed to the U.S. call for a settlement freeze is clear:
Don't settle! Not anywhere in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
Our message to Barack Obama, Hillary Rodham Clinton and Congress is clear:
Don't settle for anything less than Israel's full compliance with international law. Words aren't enough. Withhold aid until Israel ends settlement expansion and human rights violations and follows the law.
Our message to you:
Don't settle down, don't calm down, don't quiet down just because some people think it's OK to take Palestinian land at will. Settlements are wrong. They're illegal, they're immoral, and they enable thousands of Jews to live on land that doesn't belong to them. Settlements come at the price of Palestinian lives and livelihoods, Israeli security, and American lives, as General Petraeus stated last week. Settlements are incompatible with a just peace, and they're made possible by U.S. support.
Ask your friends to let Obama and Congress know that AIPAC doesn't speak for us , and that the time is over for unconditional aid to support settlement expansion and human rights violations. It's the only way we'll ever achieve a lasting peace.
Now is the time to demand full accountability, ask the US to withhold its aid to Israel until Israel agrees to abide by international law including ending settlement construction and lifting the blockade on Gaza. Only through accountability will we achieve a lasting peace.
If you are in the U.S., use this link to send a message to Congress:
International friends, please use this link to send a message to President Obama: