ACTION ALERT: Tell Biden to
Tell Israel to Cease Illegal Evictions
Win Without War
(July 14, 2022) — Did you know the Biden administration has asked Israel to pause “actions in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem that could create tensions” ahead of the president’s visit to the region this week? That means they’ll play “nice” while the diplomats meet, but once the president is gone, it’s back to business as usual: occupation, evictions, bulldozers, and violence.
Take Masafer Yatta — just weeks before President Biden’s first official visit to the Middle East, Israel began the largest forced eviction in the West Bank in DECADES. At least 1,000 Palestinians living in the villages of Masafer Yatta are facing eviction as the Israeli government continues its strategy of illegal encroachment in the West Bank.
It’s not enough for the Israeli government to simply pause their human rights violations, and we can help put a stop to them once and for all.
Usually, this kind of aggression by Israel’s government would be overlooked by the United States. But with President Biden touching down in the region today, and members of Congress already speaking out, we have a unique opportunity to push for more and to stop the evictions and demolitions before it’s too late.
It’s no secret that Israel’s government uses underhanded tactics to expand the presence of settlements in the West Bank. In Masafer Yatta, the Israeli government has claimed over 8,000 acres as a military firing zone, forcing residents who have lived on the land for generations to vacate their homes.
One resident, Yusara al-Najjar, recently told The Washington Post, “We had 30 minutes to get out what we could…It took no time and our house was gone, again.”
If US laws conditioning security assistance on upholding human rights don’t apply in Masafer Yatta, then they don’t apply anywhere. We cannot continue funding and arming the destruction of entire Palestinian communities.
The Biden administration has the power to stop this gross misuse of power. And by asking for a pause on actions including home demolitions, evictions of Palestinians, and decisions on new settlements during President Biden’s visit, they’ve already shown that they’re listening to activists like you and I who want these abuses to end for good.
That means we, along with champions in Congress who are already working hard to end US complicity and hold Israel accountable, have an opportunity to push the president to go even further. Right now, there’s a chance we can turn this pause into a full stop, and that means we can help save people’s homes. Can you join us to act now?
Today, the United States remains complicit in human rights abuses of governments in Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and more by funding their security forces or allowing them to act with impunity.
ACTION: This can’t wait. Raise your voice and tell President Biden to use all his diplomatic resorces to tell the Israeli government that continued eviction of Palestinian families in Masafer Yatta is not okay.
To President Biden:
I urge you to use your power to end the Israeli government’s human rights abuse. Your administration has already asked Israel to avoid exacerbating tensions ahead of your visit to the Middle East — now we’re asking you to urge the Isreli Government to halt demolitions in Masafer Yatta for good.
ACTION: People’s homes are on the line. Sign on to urge President Biden to bring up Masafer Yatta on his trip to Israel and help end the immoral and illegal evictions of Palestinians in the West Bank.
Together, we’re working to end this horrible status quo and hold these governments accountable for their human rights abuse in all its forms, from Palestine to right here at home.
Thank you for working for peace,
Amy, Sara, Faith, and the Win Without War team
US Asks Israel to Avoid Actions That
Could Create Tensions Ahead of Biden Visit
TEL AVIV (June 15, 2022) — The US asked Israel to refrain from any actions in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem that could create tensions ahead of President Biden’s visit next month, four Israeli, US and Palestinian officials told Axios.
Why it Matters
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is frustrated over recent contentious Israeli moves in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem and furious about the US policy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
- Abbas has threatened to take retaliatory action against Israel like stopping security coordination, taking steps in the UN or even canceling the recognition of Israel if the situation doesn’t change.
Driving the News
Barbara Leaf, the US Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs, and her Deputy for Israeli-Palestinian Affairs, Hady Amr, shuttled more than three times between Jerusalem and Ramallah during their visit this week, officials said.
- Abbas told the US diplomat he wants Israel to stop all its unilateral actions and expects Israel and the US to present some kind of a political horizon for the Palestinians, PLO official and Abbas adviser Hussein al-Sheikh told me.
- “The US wants the visit to take place in a good atmosphere – different than the one now,” said al-Sheikh, who is in charge of Palestinian contact with the Biden administration and met Leaf three times during her visit. “If the Israelis don’t stop their unilateral action the situation deteriorates and becomes much worse.”
Israeli officials said Leaf raised the Palestinian demands with Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz, Israeli national security adviser Eyal Hulata and other senior officials.
- Leaf asked Israel to halt actions like home demolitions, evictions of Palestinians and decisions on settlement building, as well as decrease Israeli military operations in the West Bank until after Biden’s visit, the officials said.
- Gantz, Lapid and Hulata told Leaf they will do their best, but explained the domestic political complexities of halting such actions in addition to what they called the operational needs of the Israeli military in order to stop attacks, the officials added.
- “The Biden administration doesn’t want us to create any crisis in the West Bank…. They want quiet and calm” for Biden’s visit, a senior Israeli official told me.
State of Play
Israeli, Palestinian and US officials said Leaf, Amr and US ambassador to Israel Tom Nides tried to put together a package of tangible deliverables for the Palestinians ahead of Biden’s visit, scheduled for July 13-15.
- But they didn’t make significant progress on the package because there are not enough meaningful things the US can give and Israel isn’t willing to take any steps with political significance that will be enough for the Palestinians, the officials said.
- “We need a political horizon. We want to hear President Biden say what his detailed position regarding the two state solution is,” al-Sheikh said.
- The US also asked Israel to allow symbolic presence of Palestinian Authority officials at the Allenby border crossing between the West Bank and Jordan. Israeli officials say they are considering this positively.
What They’re Saying
A State Department spokesperson said Leaf discussed “how to lay the groundwork” for Biden’s visit and continue the US’ “long-standing diplomacy with both Israelis and Palestinians to encourage constructive steps to improve the situation on the ground.”
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