Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu bears ultimate responsibility for the “pogroms” and “terrorism” carried out by Israeli settlers, twelve US Jewish groups have said in a joint statement reported by Haaretz earlier this week.
“As leaders of the American Jewish community, we cannot and will not stand idly by,” said the signatories representing progressive organisations, including the Union for Reform Judaism, the New Israel Fund, J Street and the National Council for Jewish Women. The groups expressed their “growing anguish and horror” over the recent wave of “violent attacks by Jewish Israeli settlers against Palestinian communities in the occupied West Bank.”
The statement followed a spate of violent attacks across the occupied Palestinian territories by armed and dangerous settlers. Palestinians in Huwara in February and, more recently, in Turmus Ayya and other Palestinian towns and villages, have been targeted by deadly violence. Death and devastation left in the wake of fully armed marauding settlers has been denounced as a “pogrom carried out by terrorists.”Netanyahu’s far-right coalition government is accused of stoking settler violence. “This has not come from nowhere, but is aligned with the Netanyahu government’s broader agenda of settlement expansion, deepening of occupation, and displacement of Palestinians,” said the US Jewish groups.
They called on the Israeli prime minister and his government to cease “empowering, excusing or protecting” those undertaking these attacks. “We call for those who perpetrate these attacks to be brought to justice… We agree with the assessment of the chiefs of Israel’s military, police and domestic security agencies that the settler attacks amount to nationalist terrorism in the full sense of the term.”