Thursday, June 20, 2019

Question. Could the Trump administration be siding with J Street? - by Stephen M. Flatow

...I am very surprised and deeply concerned at the possibility that the Trump administration could be falling into the old Obama pattern of pressuring Israel to make unilateral concessions in order to appease media pundits and Israel-bashing activists. I hope that Knesset Member Kisch was mistaken. I am anxiously awaiting an unequivocal denial from U.S. officials that they are asking Israel to let the squatters of Khan al-Ahmar continue their theft of Israeli public land.

Stephen M. Flatow..
19 June '19..

Has the Trump administration taken J Street’s side in the dispute over an illegal Arab settlement on the outskirts of Jerusalem?

That disturbing question has suddenly entered the ongoing controversy over a piece of Israeli public land near Ma’ale Adumim, a major suburb of Jerusalem. Several dozen Arab families began squatting there some years ago, alongside the highway that goes from Jerusalem to the Jordan Valley. They call their encampment “Khan al-Ahmar.”

The illegal settlers in Khan al-Ahmar don’t own the land. They don’t rent it. They don’t have any construction permits. They simply set up some tents there and waited for sympathetic journalists and Jewish “peace” activists to go to bat for them, which didn’t take long.

The Israeli authorities have more than enough reason to remove the illegal settlers. It’s obviously a security hazard to have an Arab encampment situated adjacent to a heavily traveled Israeli highway. It’s also hazardous to the children of Khan al-Ahmar itself, who reportedly run back and forth across the road at will.

But most of all, there is a vital principle at stake: Should Israel enforce its own laws, or should it bend those laws whenever The Washington Post or the European Union start complaining?

(Continue to Full Column)

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