New York, NY, February 6, 2017 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) expressed strong concern over the Regulation Bill voted on today at the Israeli Knesset, and urged the government to find alternatives which would effectively address this issue in a manner consistent with both Israeli and international laws.
The Regulation Bill would offer retroactive legal protection to thousands of homes which were constructed on private Palestinian land, if the construction was done without knowledge that the land was privately owned and with some kind of state provided assistance. ADL called on the Knesset to heed the warning of Israeli Attorney General Mandelblit who stated the legislation would be in violation of international law regarding property rights and that he would be unable to defend it before the Israeli Supreme Court.
“As an organization with a long history of advocating for the State of Israel both in the U.S. and internationally, we recognize the complexity of issues relating to Israeli settlements. We believe that these issues must be considered and resolved in a fair and reasonable manner as part of a negotiated two-state solution,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO. “However, it is imperative that the Knesset recognizes that passing this law will be harmful to Israel’s image internationally and could undermine future efforts to achieving a two-state solution.”
“The bill may also trigger severe international legal repercussions,” said Carole Nuriel, Director of ADL’s Israel Office. “As Attorney General Mandelblit and other legal experts have stated, retroactively legalizing thousands of homes illegally built on private property is a violation of international law and would be difficult to defend in both Israeli and international courts.
“We are confident that the Israeli government can find alternative legislation that would effectively address this issue in a manner consistent with both Israeli and international laws,” Ms. Nuriel added.