Americans and Israelis in Solidarity : SAY NO TO ANNEXATION

Posted on Jun 11, 2020

Americans for Peace Now and our Israeli sister organization Peace Now (Shalom Achshav) are raising our voices in solidarity and asking Israelis and Americans who care about peace to sign on to this letter.

The government of Israel, with the encouragement of the Trump administration, intends to begin annexation of the West Bank as soon as July 1st. Annexation would have disastrous repercussions for Israelis and Palestinians and would threaten US national security interests.

Israeli and American citizens are urging the government of Israel to abandon its unilateral annexation plan and to instead pursue negotiations with the Palestinian leadership to reach a conflict-ending peace accord.

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We, Israeli and American citizens who care deeply about peace between Israelis and Palestinians, stand together in urging the government of Israel to abandon its plan of unilateral West Bank annexation, and to instead pursue negotiations with the Palestinian leadership to reach a conflict-ending peace accord.

Annexation is antithetical to our shared values and our commitment to peace. The damage that annexation would inflict is not just a matter of values and vision. Annexation would severely hinder any prospect of an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, would jeopardize Israel’s relations with moderate Arab states, particularly with Jordan, further erode Israel’s international standing, and threaten the stability of the US-Israel relationship.

Yes, Donald Trump supports annexation. And, yes, some Israeli politicians view his sharp diversion from policies followed by successive past US administrations – both Democratic and Republican – as an opportunity to take actions that would not previously have been possible. But this is an aberration. Trump will leave the White House, if not in months then in several years, and with him will vanish his short-sighted policies that compromise a peaceful future for Israel and Palestine. But the consequences of annexation will be long lasting, if not irreversible.

Netanyahu recently stated that Palestinian residents of these unilaterally annexed areas will be considered “subjects” living in “enclaves” and not eligible for Israeli citizenship.

What Netanyahu is describing has historical precedent and a name: apartheid. His plan means that two national-ethnic populations will live in the same area, under the sovereignty of an internationally recognized elected government, the government of Israel. One of these groups, Israeli settlers, will enjoy full civil rights, including the right to elect their government. The other population, Palestinian “subjects,” will be deprived of almost any civil right, disenfranchised, governed by a set of military occupation laws. This has been the de facto situation in the West Bank since Israel captured it in 1967. But it was, in theory and in law, a temporary arrangement.

Now, Netanyahu and Trump are working ahead of the November presidential elections to turn this travesty into a permanent reality. In perpetuity. Without hope of ending the conflict. Without a horizon of peace and lasting security for Israel. And without a horizon of independence and statehood for Palestinians.

Israelis, Americans, and concerned citizens worldwide should not sit idly by as two irresponsible leaders, wielding tremendous power but showing little regard for the future of Israel and its Palestinian neighbors, take measures the Israeli public itself is deeply divided on that would wreck Israeli democracy and condemn Palestinians to perpetual subjugation.

A joint US-Israeli committee, armed with maps and aerial photos, is already working to chart the contours of the occupied land that Israel would call its own. But annexation is not a done deal. It can be avoided and, if not, must be reversed.

We urge Prime Minister Netanyahu not to take a step that Israelis, their friends in America, and people around the world will regret for years to come. We urge President Trump to maintain the decades of bipartisan US policy that supports a two-state solution and a peaceful end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Hadar Susskind President and CEO Americans for Peace Now

and

Shaqued Morag Executive Director Shalom Achshav

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Peter Beinart * Nicole Berner * Martin I Bresler * Rachel Faulkner * Tom Feldman * Dan Fleshler * Dr. Robert O. Freedman * Aviva Futorian * Judith Gelman * Gili Getz * Joe Goldman * Ginna Green * Rabbi Steve Gutow * Jonathan Jacoby * Steven Kaplan * Nancy Kaufman * Jim Klutznick * Shawn Landres * Luis Lanier * Rabbi Michael Latz * Rabbi Amichai Lau-Lavie * Libby Lenkinski * Rachel Lerner * Ruth Messinger * Aviva Meyer * Mik Moore * Jo-Ann Mort * David Myers * Kathleen Peratis * Marcie Setlow * Mark Silverberg * Daniel Sokatch * Mary Ann Stein * Judith Tuller * Michael Walzer * Peter Weiss

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