Dear President Biden,
We write to you as American Jews who are horrified by the violence and escalation of tensions in Israel and Palestine and the tragic deaths on both sides. We condemn in the strongest of terms the pogrom perpetrated by Israeli settlers on Sunday against the people of Huwara. The disturbing images of the Huwara pogrom are reminiscent of some of the darkest moments of Jewish history.
Now is the time for Israel’s leaders to call for calm and to do everything in their power to ease the tensions. Instead, Minister Bezalel Smotrich, the civilian governor of the West Bank whose openly pro-annexation agenda has emboldened the most extreme sectors of the Israeli settler movement, has called for further violence. He said, “I think the village of Huwara should be wiped out. I think that the State of Israel should do that.”
This is calling for a war crime.
The United States must be clear. The only thing that should be wiped out is his violent and hateful ideology. It is unacceptable abroad and it is unacceptable here.
Now Smotrich wants to bring his hatred to US soil. He has plans to travel to the United States later this month. We’re here to say that he is not welcome.
We have seen how incitement in Israel-Palestine has led to devastating violence and we urge your administration to deny entry to Smotrich and his hateful rhetoric.