Posted by: Morton A. Klein
November 3, 2011

ZOA Praises Israel’s Decision To Build Homes In J’lem & Judea – Urges Other American Jewish Organizations To Support Decision


The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has praised the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his government for announcing new Jewish construction in eastern Jerusalem, Efrat and Ma’ale Adumim and urged other American Jewish organizations to do likewise. The building program approved by the Netanyahu government include 1,650 units in Jewish neighborhoods of eastern Jerusalem, and 327 in two Jewish townships in Judea – 277 in Efrat and 50 in Ma’ale Adumim. A government official noted that all the building would occur in areas that would remain part of Israel in any final-status agreement with the Palestinians (Tovia Lazaroff & Khaled Abu Toameh, ‘Israel to speed up W. Bank building, after UNESCO vote,’ Jerusalem Post, November 1, 2011).


ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “We are pleased that Jewish neighborhoods that are suffering for lack of adequate housing for their young families will be getting the homes they need.


“We are also urging AIPAC, the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee and other American Jewish organizations to support the Israeli government decision. There is no good reason not to do so.


“Judea and Samaria are unallocated territory under international law. The right of Jews to live there is affirmed in numerous international documents from the 1920 San Remo Conference onwards and has never been extinguished by any subsequent, legally binding international agreement. This territory was illegally occupied and annexed by Jordan in 1948, an annexation recognized only by Britain and Pakistan, and remained under its control until lost in Jordanian-initiated hostilities against Israel in 1967. In 1988, Jordan renounced its claim to this territory. Moreover, under the Oslo Accords, it is the right of Israel to maintain and develop these communities.


“The Oslo II Agreement, Chapter 3, Article 17 states plainly that the Jewish communities of Judea, Samaria and Gaza remain under Israeli jurisdiction, pending a final peace agreement. Palestinian opposition to Jews lawfully building homes and living in existing Jewish communities in eastern Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria is therefore inconsistent with the PA’s signed agreements that explicitly accept the existence of Jewish communities under Israeli control.”