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Leading House Dems warn Netanyahu against promise to annex West Bank settlements

on 6 Comments

Days after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu emerged as the clear victor of Israel’s elections and will lead the country for a fifth term, a campaign promise he made to annex Israeli settlements in the West Bank is catching ire from House democrats

Taking the unusual step of publicly criticizing Israel and Netanyahu, today Eliot L. Engel, Nita Lowey, Ted Deutch, Brad Schneider, all supporters of the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC, issued a statement cautioning against any “unilateral steps” to declare occupied Palestinian territory part of the state of Israel:

“As strong, life-long supporters of Israel, a U.S.-Israel relationship rooted in our shared values, and the two-state solution, we are greatly concerned by the possibility of Israel taking unilateral steps to annex the West Bank. Every one of Israel’s frontiers plays an important role in its security, and Israel’s ability to guard itself from threats is non-negotiable.  We hope that any security measures are implemented within the context of preserving the eventual possibility of a two-state solution. Two states for two peoples, negotiated directly by the two sides, with mutually agreed upon land swaps, is the best option to achieve a Jewish, democratic, secure Israel living side-by-side with a democratic, de-militarized Palestinian state.

“This will not be easy. Palestinian leadership has been unwilling to accept any reasonable peace proposal or even to negotiate seriously toward a solution.  To paraphrase Abba Eban, the Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. And instead of negotiating, they have pursued unilateral statehood through the United Nations.

“Our fear is that such unilateral steps—whether from Israelis or Palestinians—would push the parties farther from a final, negotiated settlement.”


Allison Deger

Allison Deger is the Assistant Editor of Follow her on twitter at @allissoncd.

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6 Responses

  1. bcg on April 12, 2019, 5:59 pm

    Netanyahu is too wily to annex the West Bank settlements explicitly, he’ll bend and stretch the law and create entirely new categories of legal theory (just like we’ve learned to give corporations the status of personhood!) that will make the settlements de facto part of Israel and make a Palestinian state impossible. But he’ll make sure there’s some trapdoor he can point to and claim that he hasn’t foreclosed the possibility of two states.

    It’ll be the one state-one closet solution.

  2. JaapBo on April 13, 2019, 6:13 am

    These people do not want equality and a complete end to racism and colonialist relations. They want a subsidiary Palestinian state, no right of return of Palestinian refugees (= no equality), and no end to racist laws and practises in Israel. In short, they seem to want a two-state solution in order to legitimise these colonial relations. They want apartheid light!

  3. Kay24 on April 13, 2019, 8:22 am

    Unfortunately, the congresspeople who made such a statement, are the very ones who have enabled AIPAC, and not spoken out strongly against Israel. Where were their voices when Jared gave Bibi Jerusalem? Where were their voices when Bibi aligned himself with Jewish terrorists that the US State Department has condemned? The time for members of Congress to stand up and condemn Israel has long passed, and tomorrow if Israel needs more ammunition to attack Gaza, you can bet these very politicians will vote to give them that.

    • Davnew on April 13, 2019, 3:53 pm

      I agree with you that these congresspeople have long been enablers of Palestinian oppression. However this statement is evidence that the sands are shifting beneath the Hasbara edifice and it may be ripe for collapse. Like it or not these are the folks who will give it the final shove. We must assume that people and their views are capable of change. Bringing an end to U.S. military support of Israel depends on convincing this group that the time as come to alter the relationship between our two countries.

      • Kay24 on April 13, 2019, 6:32 pm

        If only. I think the poison has seeped in too deep and it will be hard to reverse it. Everything pivots around that aid, weapons, and support, we are giving this dangerous entity, and that seems to endlessly flow forever to prop this menace up. The American people have been brainwashed by the zionist media, to think that the charity we send is for helpless victims, of unarmed people. Only if you take that support away, will they collapse.

  4. Misterioso on April 13, 2019, 10:30 am

    It is now nearly 71 years since the criminal entity known as “Israel” or the “Jewish state” was forcibly established in historic Palestine with the assistance of the Truman administration by Zionist Jews of foreign origin through armed might, several massacres, mass rape and intimidation leading eventually to the dispossession and expulsion of about 1,250,000 indigenous Christian and Muslim Arab inhabitants by the summer of 1967 and the brutal occupation of their ancestral homeland since.

    Seventy years is a long time. And yet, “Israel” is still utterly dependent on the U.S. financially and geopolitically. Therein lies its greatest weakness. The U.S. will not be “Israel’s” lackey for ever. Indeed, as recent events attest, cracks are increasingly appearing in their relationship. Americans, including all important youth and Jews are seeing “Israel” for the insatiable, racist, conniving, expansionist monster it is. Time, demographics and the thrust of 21st century geopolitics are with the Palestinians.

    The desperation of Netanyahu and his fellow thugs, ethnic cleansers, thieves and mass murderers to “legitimize” “Israel” has been well illustrated by his recent cozying up to brutal, fascistic dictatorships around the world, including that of Brazil’s leader (hosted recently in occupied Jerusalem by Netanyahu), President Jair Bolsonaro, whose days may well be numbered:

    “Is the honeymoon period over for Brazil’s Bolsonaro?”
    By Katy Watson,
    BBC South America correspondent, April 11/19

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