The HKS Citizen (Harvard Kennedy School)
October 13, 2010
By Sanjeev Bery
Acre by acre, successive Israeli governments have used settlement construction to colonize what is left of Palestinian land. Meanwhile, a growing chorus of Jewish critics is forcing Israel to choose between its aggressive policies and the path of peace.
After a moratorium of ten months, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently resumed settlement construction in the Palestinian West Bank. On October 6th, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that Israeli bulldozers had been working “furiously” on the construction of 350 new Jewish-only housing units in the Palestinian region.
The following email was sent by US Senator Dianne Feinstein’s office to constituents who emailed her on the topic of Israel and Palestine. Her comments reflect a clear break from the positions of AIPAC and the pro-Israel lobby.
However, like you, I have grave concerns about the expansion of Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, and I believe that this issue is a major stumbling block to a peace agreement. In my view, settlement activity should be halted until an agreement is reached. Neither side should take any actions which would prejudice the outcome of negotiations on the final status issues.
To: Sanjeev Bery
Date: Thu, Apr 29, 2010 at 4:16 PM
Subject: U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein responding to your message
Dear Mr. Bery:
Thank you for writing to express your support for the Obama Administration’s position on the expansion of Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. I appreciate hearing from you on this topic, and welcome the opportunity to respond.