The Progressive Israel Network took action to oppose Prime Minister Netanyahu’s plans for a major new settlement project in the highly sensitive E-1 area of the West Bank — a project deliberately designed to devastate the prospects for the creation of an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel. PIN organized thousands of supporters to sign a petition to Israel’s Defense Minister and Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz urging him to use his formal authority to block the settlement project. The petition made clear, “Construction in E-1 would convey to the world that Israel is not committed to making peace; and instead intends to control the lives of Palestinians in perpetuity….We call on you to use your power to immediately halt plans to build in E-1.”
Full petition text:
Dear Alternate Prime Minister Gantz,
We write to you deeply concerned about your government’s intention to approve the construction of a massive Israeli settlement housing project in E-1.
As Americans who care about Israel’s security and democracy and about its ability to make peace with its Palestinian neighbors, we call on you to immediately halt plans to expand settlements in E-1. And we stand with the thousands of Israelis who have registered their objections to the E-1 construction plan.
As you are well aware, settlement construction in this area would split the northern part of the West Bank from its southern part, thereby undermining hopes for a two-state solution and the long-term peace and security of Israelis and Palestinians.
Earlier this month, the Government of Israel publicly agreed to suspend its immediate plans for de-jure annexation of parts of the West Bank. This is a welcome announcement for anyone who yearns for a future in which Israel can live in peace with all its neighbors, including the Palestinians. Unfortunately, construction in E-1 could forfeit that future, by annulling the very possibility of a two-state solution.
Construction in E-1 would convey to the world that Israel is not committed to making peace; and instead intends to control the lives of Palestinians in perpetuity.
As the Minister of Defense, you have the formal authority to approve, suspend or reject any planned Israeli construction in the West Bank.
We call on you to use your power to immediately halt plans to build in E-1.