Media Brief: Jenin and Huwara edition

The Progressive Israel Network (PIN) — a coalition of 12 Jewish organizations that strives to be both pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian — issued a statement on July 3rd, but the crisis has deepened with Israel’s military assault in Jenin. Haaretz columnist Anshel Pfeffer asks if the massive nature of this operation against “terror infrastructure” is “a Military Priority, or a Show for the Settlers?

An opinion article in The Forward mentions how past aggressive IDF actions against terror cells have emboldened a new group of young Palestinian “militants” (as mainstream news sources call them), “the Lion’s Den” — reacting to the weakness of the Palestinian Authority and the widespread perception that it collaborates with Israel. This is the recommendation of the writer, Noa Shusterman Dvir, the Director of the Palestinian & Regional Programs and a Senior Researcher at MIND Israel:

Only when Israel invests in economic, political and diplomatic efforts within the West Bank — and curbs the elements within the Israeli government who wish to see the Palestinian Authority collapse — will we move forward to a time when more violence in and around Jenin is no longer a tragic certainty.

This is the July 3rd statement by PIN, undersigned by its constituent organizations:

Horrific Settler Attacks on Palestinians Must Be Condemned and Stopped

Recently, we have watched with growing anguish and horror a new wave of violent attacks by Jewish Israeli settlers against Palestinian communities in the occupied West Bank.  Mobs of settlers are entering Palestinian towns and villages armed with guns, gasoline, and the explicit aim of spreading chaos: they smash windows and set homes on fire – often with their residents inside. Settler attacks against Palestinians had already been rising during the previous Israeli government, but they have dramatically accelerated and expanded under the current government. We saw one of the most notorious rampages in Huwara last February. Last week, in the wake of a terrible terror attack by Palestinian gunman that killed four Israelis in the West Bank settlement of Eli, these attacks began taking place with greater ferocity and frequency, and there is little to no serious governmental action to stop them. As leaders of the American Jewish community, we cannot and will not stand idly by.

We, the undersigned, agree with the chiefs of Israel’s military, police and domestic security assessment in their recent joint statement: that these attacks by armed Israeli settlers on Palestinian communities amount to “nationalist terrorism in the full sense of the term.”  We agree with Yair Lapid, who described the attack in Huwara as “a pogrom carried out by terrorists.” 

It’s clear that this violence has not come from nowhere but is aligned with the Netanyahu government’s broader agenda of settlement expansion, deepening of occupation, and displacement of Palestinians. We call on Prime Minister Netanyahu and his government to cease empowering, excusing or protecting those undertaking these attacks. We call for those who perpetrate these attacks to be brought to justice. Prime Minister Netanyahu bears ultimate responsibility for the policies deployed in the West Bank on his watch and for the chilul hashem, or desecration of God’s name, that has been unleashed in the form of these despicable violent attacks. 

Americans for Peace Now
Jewish Labor Committee
J Street
Habonim Dror North America
National Council of Jewish Women
New Israel Fund
Partners for Progressive Israel
Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association
Reconstructing Judaism
T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights
Union for Reform Judaism