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.