Olive trees uprooted by settlers
In 2010, we launched our JCall appeal with a main goal, that of making Jewish European citizens aware of the necessity of ending the occupation of the Palestinian territories in order to create a state besides Israel, which is the only condition of its survival as a Jewish and democratic state. At the time, Netanyahu had just returned to power a year ago. And during the next eleven years, under all his governments, that problem got worse and worse ; no negotiations have taken place, the colonization kept strengthening, and the image of Israel deteriorated further in the world.
For now 4 months, a new government has been leading the country, a government which, because of its composition, decided so far not to put that issue on its agenda, and to prioritize issues addressing day-to-day concerns of Israelis. This governement has also invested highly in improving Israel’s international position by renewing the slightly distorted links with the new American democrat administration and by developing its relationship with Sunni Arab States.
In his speech at the UN Assembly, Prime Minister Naphtali Bennett did not even mention the Palestinians. Speaking to Angela Merkel when she came to Jerusalem for her farewell trip as Chancellor, he said that a Palestinian State would be a terrorist threat for Israel. Ayelet Shaked, number 2 of the Yamina party, current home secretary, declared during her visit to Dubai that she stood against the creation of a Palestinian State. However, on the opposite side of the government, Nitzan Horowitz, leader of the Meretz and health minister, reaffirmed his commitment to the Two State Solution when he met Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah. Yair Lapid, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, answering the question of a local journalist at the opening of the Israeli embassy in Bahrein, said he was in favour of that solution, but explained that he did not think it was feasible for the time being, and that he supported nonetheless the improvement of the living conditions of Palestinians. He also presented at the yearly conference of Herzliya against terrorism his new vision for Gaza by proposing his plan “Economy for Security“ to end the cycles of violence with the Hamas in Gaza. Of course these projects, if they are carried out one day, will help to improve the everyday life of the Palestinian population, but they do not meet their legitimate expectations for a state. All the more since the situation deteriorates on the ground because of the escalation of the settlers’violence against them. There is an increase in their attacks these last years : from 363 in 2019 , they reached 507 in 2020 and 416 during the first 6 months of 2021. After their recent attack —on Simhat Torah holiday, when Jews celebrate the Torah and its values—of the village Khirbet al-Ukara, south of Hebron, that resulted in ten or so Palestinians wounded—among which a child who had to be operated in Israel following a skull fracture caused by a stone thrown at him—the Truah organization gathering 2300 American rabbis and hazans asked the Israeli government to carry out an investigation and to have the culprits arrested.
We also condemn that violence. This is the reason why we have decided to support financially the Israeli NGO “Rabbis for the Human Rights‘ that, like every year, coordinate the participation of Israelis helping Palestinian peasants in the olive picking in the West Bank that is about to begin. Unfortunately, acts of vandalism are already deplorable since the settlers come to uproot olive trees. Your contributions give us the means of showing our support to the Israeli NGOs committed to the fight against occupation. If you have not done it yet, please renew your contributions for 2021.
As for the political situation in Israel, analysts do not predict any crisis in the present coalition, in spite of the existing divergences on certain topics between its components. The bet made by the government not to oppose the gatherings and to keep schools open in spite of the wave of the virus delta variant, which caused a rise in hospitalizations and deaths during the summer, seems to be a success. The epidemic is decreasing. The budget (the first one since 2019) should be voted by the Knesset before the second week of November. Then the government will have the means to act, but it will be difficult to push aside the Palestinian issue during the next 4 years. We will speak about all these topics during our first videoconference that will take place on November 8th, to take stock of the first 4 months of the government. Save the date. You may already register on our website