by Alan Elsner. Elsner is Vice President for Communications for J Street so this is a ideological/political advocacy announcement? If so, does he get the space free?
It includes this:
Releasing violent prisoners is always wrenching for Israel and especially for the families of victims—but can be justified if it helps lead to a peace agreement that would end the conflict and guarantee Israel’s future as a democracy and a homeland for the Jewish people. Even as a prisoner release poses short-term threats, a two-state solution would obviously bring long-term security opportunities.
But if at the same time it is releasing prisoners, the Israeli government continues building settlements in a way calculated to sabotage the peace talks, then we should all ask whether the safety of Israeli civilians and soldiers is being sacrificed on the altar of the all-powerful settlement movement.
I left there this comment:
Let's be clear:
the issue of Jewish civilian residency communities, constructed in the regions of Judea and Samaria, part of the area that was to become the Jewish National Home and where the right of "close settlement" was assured by the League of Nations (Article 5 Mandate decision 1922), is a "final status" concern as per the Oslo Accords (an agreement broken numerous times by the Pals.)
so, too, is the issue of "refugees".
If you/whoever insist that no construction take place, then I would suggest you also demand the halt of all UNRWA programs that promote a "right of return" to "Israel 67 borders" since that is never going to happen.
And if it is, well get off our backs and let us continue living in Judea & Samaria as Jews did until, under the Mandate administration, Arabs engaged in a prolonged ethnic-cleansing campaign that not only killed, injured, raped and pillaged Jews throughout the country (what was left after the first partition in 1922 and TransJordan was removed from the area of permitted Jewish settlement) but removed and expelled them from areas in Judea and Samaria where they had lived for many centuries, in some areas even from before Arab occupiers came to in the 7th century.
Thank you for your attention.