Criminalize the settlements

It may seem very difficult to convince the Israelis to stop settlements expansion and give up the settlements they've built over the years, but there is another idea worth pursuing in the West: to criminalize any activity that encourages the settlements or transmits money to them.

Governments would not need to engage in any discussion with the Israeli government over this; they would merely be required to enforce international law and recognize the illegality of settlements, and therefore ban any promotional efforts for them among the Jewish diaspora and their financing from abroad. After all, this has been a, if not the, major contribution to the last two decades mushrooming in West Bank settlements. Just read this post on Mondoweiss to understand how groups like the Jewish Agency act to perpetuate and expand the settlements:

Just this past June, the Jewish Agency hosted a real estate expo in the Times Square Marriott, where property on both sides of the Green Line was for sale—with no mention of the 1967 borders in sight.  Notice how the Anglo-Saxon real estate agent in the video has an American accent? She's probably from New York. 

I'd love to see not only fund transfers criminalize, but also the very fact of living in a settlement. Life should be made impossible for this people, and those who fund them.

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Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.