Stop Annexation

The Netanyahu government could begin annexing large swaths of the West Bank as early as July 1, dealing a major blow to Israel’s democracy and security, Palestinian rights and prospects for a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

In the midst of the pandemic, Prime Minister Netanyahu has formed a new Israeli government that appears able and determined to carry out unilateral annexation of occupied Palestinian territory in the West Bank. It’s been agreed that, with the approval of the Trump administration, they could begin annexation as early as July 1st. That means that those who care about Israelis, Palestinians and the US-Israel relationship have just weeks to stop this disaster.

Annexation would be deliberately intended to prevent the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel, and would institutionalize an undemocratic system in which Israel would rule permanently over stateless Palestinian residents of the West Bank. It would fundamentally betray the vision and democratic principles of Israel’s founders, severely imperil the US-Israel relationship and make it nearly impossible to maintain broad support for Israel in the US.

Standing together with American lawmakers, policy experts and an overwhelming portion of the Israeli security establishment, we’re making clear why annexation would be so destructive — and taking action to stop it.

Explainers & Resources

What annexation could look like

Annexation Under the Trump Plan

Annexation of Area C

Source: Dan Rothem

Recommended Briefings

Why this fight is so important

Israeli Security

Members of Israel’s security establishment have warned that annexation risks provoking outrage in the West Bank and would undermine or destroy important cornerstones of Israel’s security strategy, including the current ceasefire with Hamas, security cooperation with the Palestinian Authority and peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan. They also warn that annexation could lead to the collapse of the Palestinian Authority and Israel retaking control of the entire West Bank at great additional cost and risk to its soldiers and people.

Palestinian Rights

Annexation would be a gross violation of international law, designed to prevent the creation of an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel. It would leave millions of Palestinians living permanently in disconnected enclaves, surrounded by Israeli territory and subject to unaccountable military rule — without basic civil or political rights or any hope of self-determination. 

Israeli Democracy

Israel’s identity has long been rooted in the goal of being a safe, secure, democracy and a homeland for the Jewish people. But maintaining permanent control over millions of Palestinians within its territory — while denying them the most basic civil and political rights — would be a betrayal of Israel’s founding values of democracy and equality, as enshrined by Israel’s 1948 Declaration of Independence. Annexation would force Israel to choose between abandoning its commitment to democracy, or abandoning its status as a majority-Jewish state. 

The US-Israel Relationship

America’s longstanding special relationship with Israel is built on a foundation of shared democratic values and a commitment to the pursuit of regional peace and stability. This would be severely undermined by annexation — a fundamentally anti-democratic act that also imperils US and Israeli security. Annexation would alienate a large swath of American lawmakers and voters, making it nearly impossible in the long run to maintain the same levels of broad support for Israel.

Strategic Regional Relationships

West Bank annexation has the potential to undermine vital American and Israeli security relationships in a highly volatile region, and to prevent Israel from developing closer ties with currently-hostile Arab states. In particular, it could shake the foundations of Israel’s essential peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan.

Opposition to Annexation

A roundup of quotes and statements from Israeli security officials, American supporters of Israel, Palestinians and global leaders.

Prominent Israelis

"[Annexation would cause] Irreversible damage to our
relations with the Democratic party and the American Jewish community in the United States."
Yair Lapid
Yesh Atid Party Chair
"This will be the final blow to the Zionist vision of a democratic state with a Jewish majority, which upholds a society in the spirit of the Declaration of Independence."
Dr. Shaul Arieli
Colonel (res), IDF
"It will kill any hope for peaceful solution of Israeli-Palestinian conflict and create a quagmire reality of a one-state where
different nations will have different set of laws and rights."
Ksenia Svetlova
Former Member of Knesset

American Supporters of Israel

"Israel…has to stop the threats of annexation and settlement activity, like the recent announcement to build thousands of settlements in E1. That’s going to choke off any hope for peace. And to be frank, those moves are taking Israel further from its democratic values."
Joe Biden
Presumptive Democratic Nominee
"it appears Prime Minister Netanyahu has formed a government...determined to unilaterally annex areas of the West Bank and Jordan Valley in coordination with President Trump. Any such annexation would be a death knell to the peace process, and a further deterioration of the rights of the Palestinian people."
Jan Schakowsky
US Representative, IL-09
"The logical conclusion of annexation is a single, nondemocratic state between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea — and that eventuality will fundamentally alter the nature of the relationship between Israel and the United States."
Dan Shapiro (et al)
Former Ambassador to Israel

Palestinian Statements

"Formation of an Israeli annexation government means ending the two-state solution and the dismantling of the rights of the people of Palestine as established under international law and resolutions."
Mohammad Shtayyeh
Prime Minister, Palestinian Authority
"Annexation means the end of any possibility for a negotiated solution. It is an international responsibility to hold the new Israeli government accountable and to demand full implementation of its obligations under international law and signed agreements."
Saeb Erekat
PLO-Secretary General
"Israeli political parties are unequivocally committed to the entrenchment and permanence of the conflict as well as the perpetual oppression of the Palestinian people with the full support and backing of the Trump administration, which is clearly intent on implementing its dangerous and objectionable plan."
Hanan Ashrawi
PLO Executive Committee Member

International Community

"The peace treaty can go into a deep freeze mode and therefore it is definitely at risk [should Israel follow through with the annexations, as outlined in the Trump plan.]"
Prime Minister Omar Razzaz
Jordan
"The EU does not recognize Israeli sovereignty over the occupied West Bank. The EU reiterates that any annexation would constitute a serious violation of international law."
High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell
European Union
"The UK position is clear: any unilateral moves towards annexation of parts of the West Bank by Israel would be damaging to efforts to restart peace negotiations and would be contrary to international law."
Minister of State for the Mideast and North Africa James Cleverly
United Kingdom
"We share the concerns that if the proposed plans on annexation of parts of the West Bank are implemented, they could undermine prospects for creating an independent, viable and territorially contiguous Palestinian state."
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Russia
"[Annexation] would constitute a blatant violation of international law, which strictly prohibits the acquisition by force of occupied territories. Such steps if implemented would not pass unchallenged and shall not be overlooked in our relationship with Israel."
UN Ambassador Nicolas de Rivière
France
"Germany strongly advises against the annexation of occupied Palestinian territories. This would have serious, negative repercussions on the viability of the two-state solution, the entire peace process, regional stability and ISR standing within the international community."
Mission to the UN
Germany

Take Action

Sign: American Jews Oppose Annexation

Building broad opposition to annexation starts with us. It starts by showing that Jewish Americans are staunchly opposed to annexation and committed to stopping it.

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Tell the Senate: Oppose Annexation

To prevent annexation, it is vital that the international community - and particularly Israel's allies in the United States - speak out and urge the Israeli government to reconsider moving forward with such destructive unilateral steps. Please contact your senators. 

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This is a critical moment for everyone who cares about the fundamental rights of Palestinians and Israel's future as a democratic, Jewish homeland. Please help make sure we have the resources we need to lead this fight.

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