Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Israeli Settlements: Jewish settlement in Sheikh Jarrah is against Israel's interests

New research by the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies indicates that Jewish settlement in Sheikh Jarrah is against Israel's interests and has the potential to harm future Israeli-Palestinian peace talks

JERUSALEM, Nov. 16, 2010 -- Jewish settlement in the heart of Arab neighborhoods in East Jerusalem has the potential to threaten the advancement of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, according to a new report published by The Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies.

The report, titled: "The Sheikh Jarrah Affair. The Strategic Implications of Jewish Settlement in an Arab Neighborhood in East Jerusalem, indicates that such activities restrict the Israeli government's freedom of action, adding that such moves are not in Israel's vital interests and, in fact, may harm those interests.

The research shows that settlement in Sheikh Jarrah and other Arab neighborhoods in East Jerusalem can frustrate the possibility of Israeli-Palestinian compromise over Jerusalem on the basis of division of sovereignty between Jewish and Arab neighborhoods ("the Clinton parameters").

Moreover, the eviction of Palestinian families creates an additional focal point for conflict and disrupts the potential creation of an appropriate environment for advancing negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

The authors, Prof. Yitzhak Reiter and Lior Lehrs, call on Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to apply the legal and administrative tools required to prevent Jewish settlement. The report was presented to Israeli government officials last week.

The paper, which aims to analyze the strategic implications of settlement in Sheikh Jarrah on Israel's vital interests, examines the various tools available to the authorities in addressing this issue.

Reiter and Lehrs note that this is the work of private entities using legal procedures to reclaim their property rights. These entities are establishing facts on the ground that do not necessarily accord with Israel's vital interests.

About the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies

Founded in 1978, the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies (JIIS) is an independent, non-profit organization which maintains a balance of highly qualified academics and practitioners, and provides a constant flow of relevant, accurate and in-depth data, policy papers and professional analyses for use by decision-makers, researchers and the general public. Its studies serve as a valuable resource for a variety of governmental bodies, public institutions and civil organizations.

Source: Jerusalem Institute for Israeli Studies