Letter to Israeli Political Leadership Opposing Annexation

Categories: Press release

Today, thirteen organizations – the coalition members of The Progressive Israel Network (PIN), the Israel Policy Forum, the National Council of Jewish Women, and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association – sent a letter to the heads of Israel’s political parties calling on them to refuse any kind of unilateral annexation of the West Bank or parts of it. 

Letter to Israeli Political Leadership Opposing Annexation 

As heads of American Jewish organizations who care deeply about the State of Israel and are committed to safeguarding its future as a democratic homeland for the Jewish people, we implore you to consider the costs of any unilateral annexations in the West Bank, and ask that you refuse to support annexation as a policy guideline for any government that your party may join.

 

We recognize that political parties are currently immersed in the process of negotiating the makeup of, and determining the policy guidelines for, Israel’s next governing coalition. We are also aware that in recent months, leading parties have proposed annexing parts of the West Bank as a possible policy of Israel’s next government. Our own government, under President Donald Trump, has broken with prior administrations from both major parties in signaling that it may endorse such unilateral actions by Israel. 

 

Mistaking such a “green light” from the president for any type of consensus on the part of either US political party would be a dangerous error for Israel. Annexation, and any actions that pave the way toward annexation, threaten not only Israel’s security and its hopes for peace, but pose a grave threat to its democratic character and international standing. Many of the leaders of Israel’s own military and intelligence communities have warned of their likely ramifications. They would push Israel further down a path to endless conflict and permanent occupation — a path that runs counter to the shared democratic values and commitment to the pursuit of peace that have long formed the heart of the US-Israel relationship. Simply put, the approach of this president does not represent the long-term interests and likely future policy of the United States. 

 

The vast majority of American Jews support a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Our organizations represent this majority. We believe that achieving an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the occupation via a negotiated two-state agreement is the only viable pathway to peace for Israel, to secure Israel’s future as a democratic homeland for the Jewish people, and to ensure its standing as a respected member of the family of nations.

 

For the sake of the State of Israel’s security, its democracy, its global standing, its relationship with the United States and with the American Jewish community, we urge you to reject annexation and refuse to participate in any government that would support it. 

 

Sincerely,

 

Ameinu*

Americans for Peace Now*

Habonim Dror North America*

Hashomer Hatzair*

The Jewish Labor Committee*

J Street*

The New Israel Fund*

Partners for Progressive Israel*

Reconstructing Judaism*

T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights*

Israel Policy Forum

National Council of Jewish Women

Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association

 

*Progressive Israel Network member organizations

 

The Progressive Israel Network is a coalition of ten leading organizations representing Americans committed to pursuing democracy and equality in Israel and to peace between Israelis and Palestinians. The coalition speaks with a unified voice in support of democracy and equal rights, religious freedom and pluralism, and a two-state solution. Its founding principles can be found here. The network’s founding members are Ameinu, Americans for Peace Now, Habonim Dror North America, Hashomer Hatzair, The Jewish Labor Committee, J Street, The New Israel Fund, Partners for Progressive Israel, Reconstructing Judaism, and T’ruah. 

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