Grave Developments in East Jerusalem Expropriation of Land and Isolation of East Jerusalemites

Dear Friends of Brit Tzedek v'Shalom,

The President and Congress urgently need to hear from you about two grave developments affecting East Jerusalem, its inhabitants and the prospects for a negotiated resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

  • The Israeli government made a secret decision in June, which has only recently made public, to apply the Absentee Property Law of 1950 to expropriate the property in East Jerusalem belonging to Palestinians living in the West Bank. This would be done without any compensation or right of appeal and potentially includes tens of thousands of acres of land worth millions of dollars.

  • Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem -- numbering some 250,000 -- will now be required to obtain permission to visit the West Bank. Obtaining these permits is a difficult, time-consuming and often humiliating challenge, separating Palestinians from jobs and families.

These actions taken by the Israeli government regarding East Jerusalem land and the mobility of East Jerusalemites are not simply counterproductive, but destructive to the peace process.

Limiting the ability of East Jerusalemites to visit the West Bank effectively limits the ability for economic and cultural exchange, potentially undermining the reconstruction of Palestinian civil society, upon which the viability of a negotiated settlement depends.

The Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz editorialized: "It is impossible not to deem the cabinet's decision theft, as well as an act of state stupidity of the highest order."

At any time, such actions should be protested. But speaking out now is particularly important, given that the emergence of the new Palestinian government has created a real potential to build momentum towards negotiating a final status agreement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. If not rescinded, the Israeli government's actions will create conditions that will prejudice the outcome of negotiations on the status of Jerusalem, thereby undercutting the prospects for progress towards a peaceful resolution.

We urge you to respond to this Action Alert and make your voice heard to the President and to Congress. 

Please share this Action Alert with family, friends, and colleagues, and tell them about Brit Tzedek v'Shalom.

B'shalom,

Steve Masters, Co-Chair of Advocacy and Public Policy
Diane Balser, Vice President and Co-Chair of Advocacy and Public Policy


Send a letter to the following decision maker(s):
President George W. Bush
cc: Your Senators
cc: Your Representatives 

Sample Letter:

Subject: Israeli Government Must Reverse New Policies on East Jerusalem

Dear [decision maker name automatically inserted here],

As an American Jew, I write to you requesting that you put all pressure to bear on the Israeli government to reverse its decisions to:

  • apply the Absentee Property Law of 1950 to expropriate potentially tens of thousands of acres of East Jerusalem property belonging to Palestinian residents of the West Bank without compensation, and

  • require Palestinian residents of Jerusalem -- numbering some 250,000 -- to obtain permits to travel to and from the West Bank.

At any time, such actions should be protested. But speaking out now is particularly important, given that the emergence of the new Palestinian government has created a real potential to build momentum towards negotiating a final status agreement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

If not rescinded, the Israeli government's actions will create conditions that will prejudice the outcome of negotiations on the status of Jerusalem, thereby undercutting the prospects for progress towards a peaceful resolution.

Your leadership is needed to ensure that these policies are immediately reversed.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

cc:
Your Congressperson
Your Senators

Take Action!

Instructions:
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What's At Stake:
American Jews must let their voices be heard now.

The U.S. government must demand that the Israeli government immediately reverse its decisions to expropriate East Jerusalem property of West Bank residents, and to allow East Jerusalem residents freedom of movement in the West Bank.

Additional links:

Land Lords, by Meron Rapaport. Haaretz, January 20, 2005.

Injustice and Stupidity in Jerusalem, Ha’aretz editorial, January 21, 2005.

E. J'lemites Will Need Permits to Visit Ramallah, by Amira Hass. Haaretz, January 25, 2005.

Separating ‘J’lem’ from the ‘West Bank,’ by Amira Hass, January 26, 2005.

Campaign Expiration Date:
February 4, 2005


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