Organized by Israel’s Ministry for Strategic Affairs and a pro-settler group, the focused on fighting against calls to boycott products made in settlements.
“Refraining from visiting, talking, buying, and knowing each other — that’s bigotry.”
— Dani Dayan, Israel’s Consul General in New York
Supporters of Israeli settlements in the West Bank held an event on the sidelines of the annual policy conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) in Washington on Monday, at the same time that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Donald Trump held talks at the White House.
The event, organized by Israel’s Ministry for Strategic Affairs and the Yesha Council, an umbrella organization of the settler movement, focused on fighting against calls to boycott products made in settlements.
More than a hundred people gathered to hear Israeli ministers from the right-wing coalition — including Education Minister Naftali Bennett (Habayit Hayehudi), Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Habayit Hayehudi) and Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz (Likud) — all of whom expressed their strong support for maintaining Israel’s presence in the West Bank and for rejecting any peace plan that involves the creation of a Palestinian state there.
At the event, which took place at the Sixth & I Synagogue in downtown Washington, Steinitz said that “Israel cannot survive” without holding on to that region. Shaked praised the Trump administration for its “courageous” decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and added that the administration is “very friendly” toward Israel. Bennett used his speech to express support for Netanyahu in light of the mounting corruption investigations involving him. Bennett said that he believes and hopes that Netanyahu did not commit any crimes and will not be indicted.