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

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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.”

 

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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… Read more »

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… Read more »

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?… Read more »

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… Read more »