Americans for Peace Now calls on the Trump administration, Congress, and fellow American Jewish organizations to act to prevent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from carrying out his declared intention to annex wide swaths of the occupied West Bank immediately after next week’s Israeli elections.
Such a step would be an existential threat to Israel’s security and wellbeing. Particularly if endorsed by the United States, it would likely destroy future efforts for a negotiated Israeli-Palestinian peace, upon which Israel’s future as a democracy and a Jewish national home relies.
In what amounts to an election ploy geared to win over right-wing voters, Netanyahu announced today that he intends to extend Israeli sovereignty to (i.e. annex) the Jordan Valley and the northern part of the Dead Sea following the post-election formation of a new coalition government (assuming that he will be Israel’s next prime minister). Further, he indicated that in coordination with the Trump administration (following the release of its “peace” plan), he will annex as many of Israel’s settlements “and other areas” in the West Bank as possible. Pure and simple, this is a death-blow to kill the two-state solution.
The US government, as well as any stakeholder in Israeli-Palestinian peace and in Israel’s future security and stability, must do its utmost to prevent such a step. Annexation of West Bank land unilaterally -- not in the context of a negotiated peace accord between Israel and the Palestinians that would include mutually agreed-upon land swaps -- is unacceptable, and must face a solid wall of resistance.
APN joins our Israeli sister-organization Peace Now (Shalom Achshav) in condemning Netanyahu’s statement, and asserting that “Netanyahu is sending a message to the citizens of Israel, the Palestinians and the entire world that Israel favors the continuing of bloody conflict and an undemocratic one-state reality over justice, democracy and peace.”
Netanyahu’s statement today, a week before Israel’s election, is an election stunt. The US must make clear to Netanyahu that it will not allow it to become more than that.