The Trump Administration's Reaction to Israel's New Annexation Bill

The government of Israel is set to endorse a bill, which – if passed by the Knesset – would be the most dramatic, far-reaching piece of Israeli legislation on West Bank settlements in decades. The bill would annex to Jerusalem nine settlements located in the heart of the West Bank, including three of the largest West Bank settlements, creating a situation on the ground that would make the establishment of an independent Palestinian state all but impossible. Prime Minister Netanyahu said he will endorse the plan, and the Cabinet’s Ministerial Committee for Legislation is expected this coming Sunday to approve it and send it to the Knesset for a vote.

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Press Release: APN to Trump: Say No to Israeli Annexation of West Bank Settlements

With the Israeli cabinet set to discuss a bill for the de-facto annexation of some of the largest West Bank settlements to Israel, Americans for Peace Now (APN) is calling on President Trump to immediately intervene and warn Prime Minister Netanyahu that the United States will block such a move.

According to Israeli news reports, Israel’s Ministerial Committee for Legislation is expected this coming Sunday to discuss a bill calling for the incorporation into Jerusalem of a collection of large settlements in the heart of the West Bank. The bill’s authors are presenting it as an “annexation bill.”

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In December of 1988, during the last days of Ronald Reagan’s presidency, the United States publicly agreed to an official dialogue with the Palestine Liberation Organization. This followed PLO leader Yasser Arafat’s renunciation of terrorism, acceptance of Israel’s right to exist, and endorsement of UN resolutions 242 and 338, after which the US accepted the PLO’s legitimacy. In effect, the PLO had conceded that 78 percent of what they considered to be historic Palestine was now Israel. They accepted that control of the “remaining” 22% — the West Bank and Gaza Strip — would be determined by negotiations.

The Palestinians had finally assented to the “land for peace” formula that had been adopted by the US, Israel, and the international community after the 1967 war. Now, almost 30 years later, this formula is being undermined by a figure who once would have seemed an unlikely culprit: the US ambassador to Israel.

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Hard Questions, Tough Answers (10.24.17) - The Kurds, Israel and the United States

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Yossi Alpher is an independent security analyst. He is the former director of the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University, a former senior official with the Mossad, and a former IDF intelligence officer. Views and positions expressed here are those of the writer, and do not necessarily represent APN's views and policy positions.

This week, Alpher discusses the issue with the Kurds, in a nutshell; how the Kurds got themselves in this mess and how Kirkuk figures so centrally in the Kurdish independence controversy; why the US is opposed to Kurdish independence and why it appears to be taking the side of Iran, Turkey and Iraq in this dispute; why Israel supports Kurdish independence; whether there is a Syrian Kurdish connection; and the argument that Israel is hypocritical because it supports Kurdish independence but thwarts Palestinian independence.

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The Trump administration won't have any more excuses

In a recent interview, U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman – a long-time supporter of Israeli settlements – falsely claimed that Israel occupies “only 2 percent” of the West Bank.

In fact, with the entire West Bank under Israeli military law, 100 percent is occupied by Israel. Yet, when a reporter followed up with State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert, asking what percent of the West Bank the Trump administration believes is occupied, she stated: “I don’t know that we have a map of that.”

We at Americans for Peace Now have good news for the State Department: Facts on the Ground 2.0 is coming soon.

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Top Anti-Democratic, Anti-Peace Bills on the Docket of Israel’s Knesset

Members of the right-wing majority coalition in Israel’s Knesset, particularly Knesset members from Likud and the Jewish Home Party, have been filling the legislature’s docket with populist, anti-democratic bills.

Such bills will be front and center on the Knesset’s docket as it opens its Winter Session on Sunday, October 22, 2017.

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Action Alert: Tell Congress to Save the Iran Deal

As we expected, President Trump decertified the Iran nuclear deal on October 17th but declined to kill it outright by imposing new sanctions. Instead, he dropped the fate of the deal in the lap of Congress, hoping to make lawmakers complicit in US violation of the terms of the JCPOA.

This would give Iran the green light to resume its nuclear program and increase the risk of escalation to an armed conflict with Iran. But that’s not all. It would mean that as the US and Israel seek to combat Iran’s nefarious activities in the Middle East we could be up against a nuclear-armed state. Further, the US would rupture relations with our allies and undermine our credibility, such that North Korea would have no reason to negotiate its nuclear disarmament.

We can’t let this happen. Tell Congress to preserve the Iran deal.

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Yossi Alpher is an independent security analyst. He is the former director of the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University, a former senior official with the Mossad, and a former IDF intelligence officer. Views and positions expressed here are those of the writer, and do not necessarily represent APN's views and policy positions.

This week, Alpher discusses why the Netanyahu government’s response to the Cairo agreement has been so low key; how Trump's “decertification” of the Iran nuclear deal might affect Israel; how the US decision to leave UNESCO might affect Israel; and how escalation between the US and North Korea might affect Israel.

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APN Israel Security Validator - Moshe Ya'alon, Former Defense Minister

Go HERE for an archive of past versions featuring Israelis such as Shabtai Shavit, Yuval Diskin, Yitzhak Rabin, Meir Dagan, Tzipi Livni, Shlomo Gazit, Rabbi Michael Melchior, and more....

 

Listen: Briefing call with Robert Malley on the Iran Nuclear Deal

Robert Malley

On October 10, 2017, APN hosted a briefing call with Middle East conflict resolution expert Robert Malley on the Iran nuclear deal, days before President Donald Trump is expected to de-certify Iranian compliance with the deal the US, Great Britain, France, Russia, China, and Germany reached with Tehran which constrains Iran’s ability to build nuclear weapons.

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