By Dan Fleshler | March 28, 2007
Ameinu, together with Meretz USA and the Union of Progressive Zionists, has sent the following letter to Israel’s Defense Minister, Amir Peretz, calling for the immediate removal of hundreds of settlers who recently seized a Palestinian home in Hebron. You can add your signature to the letter. Come on folks, don’t just sit there and complain about these fanatics. Add your names!
Dear Defense Minister Peretz,
As long time Zionists, we are deeply disturbed by the recent news that hundreds of Jewish settlers occupied and seized a four story building in Hebron’s central city market on March 19th under the auspices of the security forces. This is not just a seizure of one building, but a new settlement in the heart of Hebron. While the settlers allege they legally purchased the structure, we understand that any purchase of property by Israelis in densely populated Palestinian areas must be approved by you, the Defense Minister. Thus, it would appear their occupation of the building is illegal on at least one count as they have not received official approval from you. Further, we understand that the owners of the building claim they did not sell it to the settlers in the first place.
As Zionists, we believe occupation of this building and the continued presence of extremist Jewish settlers in Hebron presents one of the greatest obstacles to peace and to the State of Israel. If they are permitted to remain, the government will be forced to redirect scarce resources towards their protection. Their presence will also decrease the stability of the city: the history of settler behavior in Hebron demonstrates that the more property they obtain, the greater the harassment and violence they perpetrate. We also understand that due to the unbearable living conditions likely to be created by this new settlement, many Palestinian families will be forced to leave their homes. The implications of the situation are harmful to Israel, her neighbors and all those who sincerely seek peace.
We urge you to act immediately and decisively to remove the settlers from this building before the expiration of the 30 day time period you have to make such a decision. To wait any longer will force a dangerous and drawn-out process before the Supreme Court. As long time supporters of the Labor and peace movements with which you have long been associated, we hope you will act quickly and forcefully to take the necessary actions.