The so-called Settlement Regulation Law that was just voted by the Knesset legalizes retroactively previously illegal settlements built on private Palestinian land, and establishes a legal framework for future expropriations. It marks a fundamental break since for the first time since the annexion of Jerusalem, the Israeli Parliamentary majority legislates on Palestinian territories, outside its internationally recognized borders. Through this process, Israeli leaders are moving towards the dissolution of a democratic Jewish State.
The international condemnation has been unanimous, including among Israel’s traditional friends: the United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium, France, Switzerland…and more widely, the European Union through Federica Morgherini’s voice. It was probably not a surprise for Benjamin Netanyahu, who, like many legal and security experts, was initially opposed to the Knesset vote. Weakened by judicial affairs, keen to hold on his power, he has been unable to allow the State’s national interest to prevail over party politics.
Willing to maintain and legalize occupation tears down the very foundation of the original Zionist project: building a State for the Jewish people, on democratic and humanist fundamentals. Nevertheless there is hope, since according to Avichai Mandelbilt, Attorney General, the text probably won’t stand up to the constitutional scrutiny of the Supreme Court with which 2 Israeli NGO’s and 17 Palestinian municipalities have lodged an appeal.
JCall condemns the adoption of this text and calls on the European Jewish institutions and organizations to make their voices heard like the major American Jewish organizations which did not hesitate to express publicly their most extreme reserves , faced with a law that, if it were to be finally adopted, would be immoral, contrary to the values of Judaism, and antidemocratic.