Jewish students launch campaign against Palestinian home demolitions

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Jewish students launch campaign against Palestinian home demolitions

'#Don’tSettleForThis' initiative claims Israeli policy 'runs counter to basic Jewish values of justice'

The rubble of a home demolished by the IDF, with a tin shack that a family now has to live in, in Umm al-Khair.
The rubble of a home demolished by the IDF, with a tin shack that a family now has to live in, in Umm al-Khair.

Jewish students around the UK have launched a campaign against the Israeli government’s policy of demolishing Palestinian homes in the West Bank.

The students are drawn from 15 universities across the country, including Oxford, the LSE and Edinburgh, and have asked to meet Middle East Minister Alistair Burt to make their thoughts heard.

The group, many of whom have attended visits to Israel and the West Bank with British Jewish group Yachad, also told uncritical Jewish community leaders that the Israeli demolitions “runs counter to basic Jewish values of justice”.

Their campaign, dubbed #Don’tSettleForThis, sees the next generation of Jews voice their opposition to Israeli policy from campuses including Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge, Durham, Edinburgh, Goldsmiths, Leeds, LSE, Nottingham, Southampton, Sussex, UCL, Warwick and York.

It comes just weeks after Israel’s Supreme Court ordered more demolitions in the village of Susiya, alongside other demolition orders on the villages of Ein al-Hilweh and Umm Jamal in the Jordan Valley, and Jabal al-Baba in the E1 area near Maaleh Adumim.

The students’ letter to politicians, policy-makers and pro-Israel lobbyists outlines how the Israeli Government “is planning to remove hundreds of people from their homes on privately-owned land in the occupied territory”.

Among those to have received the students’ letter was Tom Tugendhat MP, chair of the foreign affairs select committee, and Stephen Twigg, the Chair of the International Development Select Committee

Jewish communal leaders such as Board of Deputies’ president Jonathan Arkush and Jewish Leadership Council chief executive Simon Johnson were also written to.

Sussex student Natasha Lever said she had travelled to Bedouin village Umm al-Khair, in which only one house has legal status under Israeli military law. “I learned about life in Area C under demolition orders,” she said. “I was shocked and saddened at the quality of life in these places, as basic human needs and rights are disregarded in favour of the gradual annexation of the West Bank.”

In their joint letter, the students write: “Not a year goes by without demolitions. Yet just metres away, on land appropriated from Umm al-Kheir, is the Israeli settlement of Carmel, which resembles a picture-perfect suburb. This is a disturbing disparity.”

Lever added: “As young British Jews who passionately support and care for Israel, we want to see a peaceful resolution and support the country which represents our religion and culture, that’s why we must stand in opposition to this kind of behaviour.”

Yachad director Hannah Weisfeld said: “These students want to see a safe and secure Israel flourish and recognise that demolishing villages will only make peace harder to achieve. They should be commended for speaking up.”

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: