Aryeh King, a settler leader and deputy mayor of Jerusalem, said, as reported by the New York Times, that the policy of evicting people from their homes of many years "is the way to secure the future of Jerusalem as a Jewish capital for the Jewish people."
Videos of people losing their homes are fueling protests, and the Israeli militarized police are attacking protesters. On Friday, according to Haaretz, 205 Palestinians and 17 police officers were injured. On Saturday, the Palestinian Red Crescent said, 64 Palestinians, including five childen and one infant, were wounded, many by sponge-tipped bullets and stun grenades. They added that Israeli police prevented ambulances from reaching the site.
Senators Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Chris Murphy have called on the Israeli government to cease eviction efforts.
"The forced removal of long-time Palestinian residents in Sheikh Jarrah is abhorrent and unacceptable," Warren tweeted, saying that the Biden administration must make clear to Israel that these evictions are illegal.
"The United States must speak out strongly against the violence by government-allied Israeli extremists in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, and make clear that the evictions of Palestinian families must not go forward," Sanders said.
Click here to urge more senators to speak out.
A memo by the National Lawyers Guild this week urged the Biden administration to take steps including:
- Relocate the U.S. Embassy from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv;
- Reverse the Trump administration's repudiation of a 1978 State Department legal opinion declaring Israel's settler colonies in the occupied West Bank to be illegal;
- Rescind the previous administration's rule requiring "Made in Israel" labeling on goods produced in the unlawful settlements, as well as former President Donald Trump's formal recognition of Israel's illegal annexation of Syria's Golan Heights;
- Reinstate aid to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency;
- Call for an immediate end to Israel's 15-year closure and blockade of Gaza;
- Refrain from further interference in International Criminal Court proceedings and consider ratifying the Rome Statute;
- Reverse Trump's order falsely conflating criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism; and
- Affirm that boycotts for human rights such as the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement "are a form of highly protected speech under the U.S. Constitution."
Senator Warren has proposed putting at least some conditions on the billions of dollars the U.S. Congress gives to the Israeli government for weapons every year.
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>> Haaretz: "Democrats Urge U.S. to Act Against Israel's 'Abhorrent' East Jerusalem Evictions"
>> Common Dreams: "National Lawyers Guild Urges Biden to Align US Israel-Palestine Policy With International Law"
>> Al Jazeera: "What Can Stop Palestinians Being Evicted from Sheikh Jarrah?"
>> New York Times: "Evictions in Jerusalem Become Focus of Israeli-Palestinian Conflict"
>> The Intercept: "Elizabeth Warren Suggests U.S. Explore Conditional Aid to Israel"
Photo Credit: https://twitter.com/KhaledBeydoun