Last week, the Israeli online magazine +972 reported
that Maj. Gen. (ret.) Amos Yadlin, the former head of military intelligence and the current director of the
Institute for National Security Studies, and Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel, signed onto an ad congratulating settlers
for taking over some 7 buildings (with more than 20 apartments) in East Jerusalem, in the Palestinian neighborhood
of Silwan, which the settlers call the City of David/Ir David. The ad read:
On the eve of Sukkot, we are happy to congratulate the dozens of new families that are joining the Jewish
settlement of Ir David these days. We salute the Zionist work of those who take part in this mission.
Strengthening Jewish presence in Jerusalem is the challenge for all of us, and by your act of settlement you
make us all stand taller. Together, we will welcome the pilgrims who are visiting on the holiday. We appreciate
and endear you.
Yadlin and his co-signers are, in effect, endorsing the sacrifice of Israel’s future at the altar of Elad. This is the
right-wing organization that for decades has been the engine behind settlement in Silwan—an enterprise that has
historically been and continues to be especially problematic politically, morally, and legally. While
recently Elad has endeavored to transform itself into a “mainstream” organization associated with cultural and
touristic activities, its raison d’etre has not changed: to create facts on the ground that prevent a two-state
solution and to establish an exclusionary, Jewish/Israeli hegemony in the heart of Palestinian East Jerusalem.