“The passing of the so-called ‘legalisation’ bill is a dark moment in the Knesset’s history. The law retroactively legalises at least 55 settlement outposts and nearly 4000 housing units that were built without permission on land owned by private Palestinian landowners in the West Bank. These outposts have always been considered illegal under Israeli law.
The governing coalition has acted with disregard towards the rule of law, the rights of private Palestinian landowners and the basic security of ordinary Israelis. As supporters of Israel in the UK, we cannot sit by while its government legitimises common theft. We share the feelings of opposition leader Isaac Herzog that this law represents “a very serious danger” to Israel.
For years, the Israeli government has argued that Palestinian intransigence is the main stumbling block to a two-state solution. This law renders that position untenable. According to a 2015 City University study, 75% of British Jews view settlement building as a “major” obstacle to peace and 61% think “pursuing peace negotiations with the Palestinians” should be the number 1 priority of Israel’s government. We, like the majority of British Jews and the leaders of Israel’s opposition, want an Israeli government that supports peacebuilding, not settlement building.
We call on the Israeli government and Knesset to reverse this disastrous legislation.”