WATCH: Tal Harris speaks out against “price-tag” attacks (available in Hebrew only)
New York, June 14, 2012—Israeli youth activists, led by OneVoice’s Tal Harris, joined residents in Neve Shalom – a model for Arab-Jewish co-existence – on Sunday to protest the “price-tag” attack on their village by Jewish extremists retaliating against the evacuation of the illegal Ulpana outpost.
Last Wednesday, the Knesset voted down a bill to legalize outposts on private Palestinian land – amid intense lobbying from settler groups and their allies in the governing coalition – that also threatened to undermine the Supreme Court’s ruling to dismantle Ulpana by July 1. OneVoice Israel stepped up pressure on Knesset members in the preceding days to quash the proposed law. Immediately after, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu approved 851 units for construction in the West Bank settlement of Beit El.
OneVoice advocates for a settlement freeze to restart stalled negotiations toward the two-state solution.
» Read an op-ed by Tal Harris on the choice between democracy and settlements.
Throughout the summer, OneVoice’s Israeli activists will protest continued settlement construction and expansion. They will mobilize in a different major city each week by wearing heavy winter coats symbolizing the need to freeze the settlement policy and unfreeze peace talks. They plan to bring residents and local politicians together in support of this strategic Israeli choice. Their first protest will take place this Tuesday, June 19, outside the Israeli Presidential Conference in Jerusalem.
In the run-up to vote on the outpost legislation, OneVoice Israel published a poll that showed nearly 58% of Israelis oppose the bill. The proposed law sought to legalize outposts in the occupied West Bank that house at least 20 Jewish families who have resided there for more than four years. Results also showed 57.7% of respondents support the Supreme Court’s decision to demolish the illegal outpost and 64% oppose illegal settlement activity in the West Bank.
» View the complete poll results.
The movement’s youth activists carried out a relentless phone, text, and social media blitz to get ministers to vote against the legislation. They also hung posters and banners all over Jerusalem that read “Prime Minister Netanyahu, the outposts are destroying Israel” and “Minister Mofaz, the outposts are killing the two-state solution.”
» Read about OneVoice’s actions against legalizing outposts in the West Bank.
“Any new construction on private Palestinian land in the heart of the West Bank serves as another roadblock in the way of the two-state solution,” said Harris.