Jewish Insider reports that four congresswomen are currently circulating a letter among House members that would target military aid to Israel if the country goes with its proposed plan to annex portions of the West Bank.
The letter, which is addressed to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, is being pushed by Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Betty McCollum (D-MN), and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI). It details how Israel’s plan is in violation of international law and quotes the UN Special Rapporteur on the conflict, who said that annexation would “crystalize a 21st century apartheid, leaving in its wake the demise of the Palestinians’ right to self-determination.”
At the end of the letter, the congresswomen declare that they will work toward conditioning military funding to Israel if the country moves forward with its plans: “Should the Israeli government move forward with the planned annexation with this administration’s acquiescence, we will work to ensure non-recognition as well as pursue conditions on the $3.8 billion in U.S. military funding to Israel, including human rights conditions and withholding funds for the off-shore procurement of Israeli weapons equal to or exceeding the amount the Israeli government spends annually to fund settlements, as well as the policies and practices that sustain and enable them.”
Although the letter hasn’t officially been released yet, AIPAC has already sent out a tweet condemning it:
The Trump administration’s Middle East team met last week and said they were on the verge of making an announcement about annexation, but they still haven’t officially made a decision. Yesterday, Axios’s Barak Ravid reported that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is calling on U.S. evangelicals to help him lobby the Trump administration on the issue. “Israeli officials say Netanyahu thinks President Trump is politically vulnerable four months before the U.S. election and that he could lose to presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden,” wrote Ravid, “He thinks Trump needs the evangelical base to go to vote in order to have a chance at winning.”