The number of Jewish American moving into illegal settlements in the Israeli-occupied West Bank has increased dramatically, according to recent data from Tel-Aviv's Central Bureau of Statistics.
Out of the 2,296 US citizens who migrated to the occupation state last year, 191 moved into illegal settlements. This represents nearly a threefold increase from the previous year when less than three per cent settled in Palestinian territory.
American Jews are also the most likely to settle in occupied territory compared with fellow Jews from other parts of the world. While they accounted for just over ten per cent of all the newcomers arriving in Israel last year, they made up nearly a third of those opting to settle in the West Bank.
This disparity is said to be due to the American Jewish community being more orthodox and tending to hold right-wing supremacist views, such as that all of the territory from the River Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea was granted to Jews by God.
Another reason is that the Jewish organisation subcontracted to handle the logistics of immigration from the US is the private Nefesh b'Nefesh. The group is said to encourage American Jews to settle in the occupied West Bank. About a quarter of the communities highlighted on its website are located in illegal settlements, such as Efrat, Ma'aleh Adumim and Elkana. It makes no mention of the fact that these places are not within Israel.
The ugly reality of the takeover of Palestinian land by settlers arriving from the US grabbed international attention earlier this year when an American-born Israeli, Yaakov Fauci, was captured on video trying to evict the Palestinian El-Kurd family from their home in the Sheik Jarrah neighbourhood of occupied East Jerusalem.
"If I don't steal it, someone else is going to steal it," said Fauci in a video that went viral and sparked international condemnation. He was born in Long Island, New York, and was recruited by Nahalat Shimon International, a US-based settler organisation seeking to change the demographics of occupied East Jerusalem.