Washington, DC – Americans for Peace Now (APN) strongly condemns the decision by the Jewish National Fund's Executive Board to start officially purchasing land in the West Bank to expand Israeli settlements.
The new JNF policy was approved by a 6-5 Executive Board vote and still requires final approval by the body's Board of Directors in a vote that is scheduled to take place after Israel's March 23rd general elections.
Since APN first expressed its alarm at the new JNF policy last week, the Biden administration came out against it, stating that "It is critical to avoid unilateral steps that exacerbate tensions and undercut the efforts to achieve a two-state solution. This includes annexation, settlement building, demolitions, incitement and payments for terrorists." The new policy is also fiercely opposed by senior officials within the Israeli government, including Defense Minister and Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz.
APN warns that the new JNF policy, if officially adopted, could have dramatic anti-peace, anti-democratic repercussions. It could significantly bolster the Israeli settlement enterprise, which is aimed at thwarting a future two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. APN has vowed not to stand silently by as the Jewish National Fund, an agency that was created to build the State of Israel, serves as a tool to destroy the prospects of building a Palestinian state, thus denying Palestinian self-determination and undermining Israel's future as a democracy.
In the coming weeks, both before and after Israel's general elections, APN will act to apply as much pressure as possible on the JNF and its Board of Directors not to walk down the dangerous path of perpetual occupation and annexation that the proposed new policy entails.