Regavim: Peace Now Needs an 'Ice Bucket Challenge'

Israeli rights group suggests some cold water over the head to awaken the far-left group that Israelis support building in Jerusalem.

Yaakov Levi ,

Wake up and smell the coffee
Wake up and smell the coffee
Benji Goldberg

The Regavim NGO watchdog group for Jewish national property rights said Thursday that it was unclear as to why the US was criticizing Israel's announcement that some 2,600 homes would be built in Jerusalem. “The building plans for this project were approved in 2011, so it was well known that homes would be built in Givat Hamatos,” the group said.

“The reason the issue is coming up now is because the far-left and particularly Peace Now is desperate to harm Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on his trip to the US, to the extent that it is recycling old news.”

On Wednesday, the US State Department used unusually harsh language when criticizing Israel’s approval of planned construction of 2,610 homes in Jerusalem. “This development will only draw condemnation from the international community, distance Israel from even its closest allies, poison the atmosphere not only with the Palestinians but also with the very Arab governments with which Prime Minister (Binyamin) Netanyahu said he wanted to build relations,” Psaki was quoted as having told a briefing. In addition, it would “call into question Israel’s ultimate commitment to a peaceful negotiated settlement,” she added.

Referring to the successful summer campaign to raise awareness for ALS, in which celebrities dumped ice water on their heads to raise money for research on the dreaded disease, Regavim said that “the time has come for Peace Now to take its own 'ice bucket challenge' and wake up to the fact that the vast majority of Israelis support construction in Jerusalem, and want to see their country's capital grow and develop.”

As with all of Judea and Samaria, any area of Jerusalem seized illegally by Jordan during the 1948 War of Independence and occupied by that country until 1967 is claimed by the Palestinian Authority for its hoped-for state. In particular, the PA has claimed the parts of Jerusalem that were occupied by Jordan to be used for a capital of that state. The leftist organizations and much of the international community support that claim.