Are Jewish Settlements More of a Problem Than Iranian Nukes?

It would be better if America focused on matters that are genuinely dangerous, insists Israeli official

By Israel Today Staff | | Topics: Jewish Settlers
Jews place a large Israeli flag at the settlement outpost of Evyatar, before its evacuation as part of a deal with the government.
Jews place a large Israeli flag at the settlement outpost of Evyatar, before its evacuation as part of a deal with the government. Photo: Sraya Diamant/Flash90

For decades Western voices have parroted the Palestinian assertion that Jewish settlements are not only the primary obstacle to peace in the Holy Land, but a destabilizing factor for the entire Middle East.

So it came as little surprise when the newly-installed American ambassador to Israel, Tom Nides, harshly condemned the presence of Jews in the biblical heartlands of Judea and Samaria, the so-called “West Bank” that the Palestinians claim as their future state.

“We [meaning Israel] can’t do stupid things that impede a two-state solution,” Nides said earlier this month during an online event hosted by the left-wing group Americans for Peace Now.

Among those “stupid” things? Building houses for Jews in the ancestral homeland of the Jewish people.

“We can’t have the Israelis doing settlement growth in east Jerusalem or the West Bank. I’m a bit of a nag on this, including the idea of settlement growth, which infuriates me,” he added.

Nides suggested that he considers it part of his “mission” to bring an end to such Jewish settlement activity, which in previous generations was seen as the cornerstone of modern Zionism.

In response to Nides, the head of the Yesha Council that represents the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria wondered how after all this time the US still views Jewish settlement in the Land of Israel as somehow more threatening than other dangers like the Iran nuclear program.

“It would be better if the ambassador dealt with really dangerous issues, such as the Iranian nuclear threat to the entire Middle East, the dozens of terrorist incidents that take place every day in Judea and Samaria against innocent Israeli citizens, or the illegal Palestine takeover of Judea and Samaria and the destruction of its archaeology and heritage sites,” David Elhayani was quoted as saying by The Jerusalem Post.

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