Senators Against Annexation

A roundup of statements from US senators and Senate candidates against annexation

US Senators

Senator Tammy Baldwin

Joined 19 senators in signing a letter opposing annexation. The letter to Israeli leaders stated, “If you move forward with unilateral annexation, we would not support that action. This is consistent with long-standing American policy opposing unilateral actions by either party to the conflict. Pursuit of a viable, negotiated two state solution is essential to ensuring our shared democratic values and lasting bipartisan support for Israel in Congress.”  Full letter text

Senator Michael Bennet

“I am concerned that unilateral annexation of the West Bank by Israel outside the confines of negotiations will diminish future prospects for such talks and could potentially destabilize the region further, undermining U.S. and Israeli security interests. Therefore, I encourage the U.S administration to recommit to the United States’ historic leadership role in the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians and work to ensure no actions are taken that undermine the prospect for talks.” Full statement

Senator Richard Blumenthal

“As steadfast supporters of a negotiated two-state solution, we are very concerned by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s stated intention to annex parts of the West Bank. We oppose unilateral actions by either side that could further threaten the prospects for a just and lasting peace, and the Prime Minister must refrain from such a provocative step.” Full statement released with Senator Ron Wyden

Senator Cory Booker

“As I expressed directly to the Israeli government earlier this month, a unilateral action like annexation would threaten that lasting peace from becoming a reality — with serious security, diplomatic, economic, and legal ramifications for Israel’s national security. I am calling on both Israeli and Palestinian leadership to return to the negotiating table and to avoid any unilateral steps pending an agreement.” Full letter text

Senator Sherrod Brown

Joined 19 senators in signing a letter opposing annexation. The letter to Israeli leaders stated, “If you move forward with unilateral annexation, we would not support that action. This is consistent with long-standing American policy opposing unilateral actions by either party to the conflict. Pursuit of a viable, negotiated two state solution is essential to ensuring our shared democratic values and lasting bipartisan support for Israel in Congress.”  Full letter text

Senator Ben Cardin:

Issued a joint statement with Senators Schumer and Mendendez stating, “As strong and dedicated supporters of the U.S.-Israel relationship, we are compelled to express opposition to the proposed unilateral annexation of territory in the West Bank.” Full statement

Senator Tom Carper

Joined 19 senators in signing a letter opposing annexation. The letter to Israeli leaders stated, “If you move forward with unilateral annexation, we would not support that action. This is consistent with long-standing American policy opposing unilateral actions by either party to the conflict. Pursuit of a viable, negotiated two state solution is essential to ensuring our shared democratic values and lasting bipartisan support for Israel in Congress.”  Full letter text

Senator Bob Casey

“As Israel enters a hopeful new chapter after over a year of political turmoil, I am concerned that stated plans to move forward with unilateral annexation of the West Bank will not only eliminate the possibility of a two-state solution, but may result in erosion of regional and international arrangements that guarantee Israel’s safety and security.” Full letter text

Senator Chris Coons

“My hope would be that Ashkenazi as foreign minister and Gantz as defense minister — in what will be internal deliberations — given their deep experience in the IDF and given the security consequences of an abrupt move, would caution Bibi [Netanyahu] against some significant step like this.” Full interview

Senator Dianne Feinstein

“I fear that any steps taken by Israel to unilaterally annex land in the West Bank will result in long-term costs to Israel’s national security and diplomatic relationships. I urge you not to proceed with unilateral annexations, as such an effort to change the facts on the ground outside of a negotiation could ultimately make it impossible for Israel to secure a permanent and lasting peace agreement with the Palestinians.” Full statement

Senator Catherine Cortez Masto

“I’m concerned that Israel may choose to unilaterally annex territories in the West Bank. As a strong supporter of Israel, who believes in a robust U.S.-Israel relationship, I oppose unilateral actions on the part of Israelis or Palestinians that could harm the already difficult prospects of a negotiated two-state solution, which is the best hope for sustainable peace and security in the region. The United States should be focused on supporting efforts to bring both parties back to the table to achieve a lasting peace agreement that strengthens both the Israeli and the Palestinian peoples as well as the national security of the United States.” Statement

Senator Tammy Duckworth

Joined 19 senators in signing a letter opposing annexation. The letter to Israeli leaders stated, “If you move forward with unilateral annexation, we would not support that action. This is consistent with long-standing American policy opposing unilateral actions by either party to the conflict. Pursuit of a viable, negotiated two state solution is essential to ensuring our shared democratic values and lasting bipartisan support for Israel in Congress.”  Full letter text

Senator Dick Durbin

Joined 19 senators in signing a letter opposing annexation. The letter to Israeli leaders stated, “If you move forward with unilateral annexation, we would not support that action. This is consistent with long-standing American policy opposing unilateral actions by either party to the conflict. Pursuit of a viable, negotiated two state solution is essential to ensuring our shared democratic values and lasting bipartisan support for Israel in Congress.”  Full letter text

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

“Though my commitment to the cause of Israel and the safety of Israel will remain steadfast, I cannot currently agree with proposed Israeli unilateral actions to annex parts of the West Bank. The implications for a negotiated two-state solution and negative outcomes for Israel’s relationship with its neighbors lead me to believe unilateral actions would be especially unhelpful at this moment.” Full letter text

Senator Kamala Harris

“As the United States has repeatedly made clear, unilateral moves by either party, such as annexation, put a negotiated peace further out of reach. Both Israel and the Palestinians must avoid unilateral moves in order to preserve prospects for an eventual peace.” Full letter text

Senator Maggie Hassan

“Israel has a right and an obligation to secure its borders, but annexing key territories without bilateral communication and support will only serve to increase the animosity of extremist actors like Hamas and decrease the willingness of Palestinian groups to come to the negotiating table. Such actions undermine decades of shared understandings between Israeli, Palestinian, American, and international officials.” Full statement

Senator Martin Heinrich

Joined 19 senators in signing a letter opposing annexation. The letter to Israeli leaders stated, “If you move forward with unilateral annexation, we would not support that action. This is consistent with long-standing American policy opposing unilateral actions by either party to the conflict. Pursuit of a viable, negotiated two state solution is essential to ensuring our shared democratic values and lasting bipartisan support for Israel in Congress.”  Full letter text

Senator Mazie Hirono

“As a strong supporter of the two-state solution, I oppose any unilateral move that puts the cause of peace further from reach. I urge @IsraeliPM and @gantzbe not to move forward with any unilateral annexation of the West Bank. Annexation is a threat to Israel’s long-term security and to the right of self-determination for Palestinians. I join with many of my colleagues in the U.S. Congress opposed to any unilateral annexation of the West Bank.” See Tweets

Senator Tim Kaine

Co-authored a letter, signed by eighteen senators, opposing annexation. The letter to Israeli leaders stated, “If you move forward with unilateral annexation, we would not support that action. This is consistent with long-standing American policy opposing unilateral actions by either party to the conflict. Pursuit of a viable, negotiated two state solution is essential to ensuring our shared democratic values and lasting bipartisan support for Israel in Congress.”  Full letter text

Senator Amy Klobuchar

“The potential for unilateral annexation of this land – which I would not support – has caused significant concern in the United States and in countries across the world — including concerns that such action could undermine the prospects for a peace process that has buy-in from Israelis, Palestinians, and the Arab world, and that could lead to direct negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians that could result in a two-state solution.” Full letter text

Senator Patrick Leahy

Joined 19 senators in signing a letter opposing annexation. The letter to Israeli leaders stated, “If you move forward with unilateral annexation, we would not support that action. This is consistent with long-standing American policy opposing unilateral actions by either party to the conflict. Pursuit of a viable, negotiated two state solution is essential to ensuring our shared democratic values and lasting bipartisan support for Israel in Congress.”  Full letter text

Senator Ed Markey

Joined 19 senators in signing a letter opposing annexation. The letter to Israeli leaders stated, “If you move forward with unilateral annexation, we would not support that action. This is consistent with long-standing American policy opposing unilateral actions by either party to the conflict. Pursuit of a viable, negotiated two state solution is essential to ensuring our shared democratic values and lasting bipartisan support for Israel in Congress.”  Full letter text

Senator Bob Menendez:

Issued a joint statement with Senators Schumer and Cardin stating, “As strong and dedicated supporters of the U.S.-Israel relationship, we are compelled to express opposition to the proposed unilateral annexation of territory in the West Bank.” Full statement

Senator Jeff Merkley

Joined 19 senators in signing a letter opposing annexation. The letter to Israeli leaders stated, “If you move forward with unilateral annexation, we would not support that action. This is consistent with long-standing American policy opposing unilateral actions by either party to the conflict. Pursuit of a viable, negotiated two state solution is essential to ensuring our shared democratic values and lasting bipartisan support for Israel in Congress.”  Full letter text

Senator Chris Murphy

Co-authored a letter, signed by eighteen senators, opposing annexation. The letter to Israeli leaders stated, “If you move forward with unilateral annexation, we would not support that action. This is consistent with long-standing American policy opposing unilateral actions by either party to the conflict. Pursuit of a viable, negotiated two state solution is essential to ensuring our shared democratic values and lasting bipartisan support for Israel in Congress.”  Full letter text

Senator Patty Murray

Joined 19 senators in signing a letter opposing annexation. The letter to Israeli leaders stated, “If you move forward with unilateral annexation, we would not support that action. This is consistent with long-standing American policy opposing unilateral actions by either party to the conflict. Pursuit of a viable, negotiated two state solution is essential to ensuring our shared democratic values and lasting bipartisan support for Israel in Congress.”  Full letter text

Senator Gary Peters

“…Unilateral annexation of any part of the West Bank would not be a productive development for the United States or Israel. It would undermine Israel’s standing on the world stage and could lead to regional stability.”  Full letter text

Senator Jacky Rosen

“However, unilateral steps by either party push both parties farther away from peace. To that end, as I have communicated to Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, I am deeply concerned about the possibility of Israel unilaterally annexing the West Bank. Many former Israeli military leaders have warned that even a partial unilateral annexation of the West Bank could undermine the prospects for a two-state solution. Moreover, territorial issues should be resolved at the negotiating table – to be determined directly by Israel and the Palestinians. While Palestinian refusal to negotiate should be noted, in the absence of negotiations, it is incumbent upon both parties to foster an environment conducive to eventually restarting talks. Unilateral annexation is not the answer. Now is the time for the United States to recommit to the objective of two states for two people, and for Israelis and Palestinians to refrain from any unilateral steps that push us farther away from securing that peaceful future.” Full statement

Senator Bernie Sanders

Joined 19 senators in signing a letter opposing annexation. The letter to Israeli leaders stated, “If you move forward with unilateral annexation, we would not support that action. This is consistent with long-standing American policy opposing unilateral actions by either party to the conflict. Pursuit of a viable, negotiated two state solution is essential to ensuring our shared democratic values and lasting bipartisan support for Israel in Congress.”  Full letter text

Senator Sanders also spoke by video to a rally in Tel Aviv against annexation. Watch the video

Senator Brian Schatz

Joined 19 senators in signing a letter opposing annexation. The letter to Israeli leaders stated, “If you move forward with unilateral annexation, we would not support that action. This is consistent with long-standing American policy opposing unilateral actions by either party to the conflict. Pursuit of a viable, negotiated two state solution is essential to ensuring our shared democratic values and lasting bipartisan support for Israel in Congress.”  Full letter text

Senator Chuck Schumer:

Issued a joint statement with Senators Cardin and Mendendez stating, “As strong and dedicated supporters of the U.S.-Israel relationship, we are compelled to express opposition to the proposed unilateral annexation of territory in the West Bank.” Full statement

Senator Jeanne Shaheen

Joined 19 senators in signing a letter opposing annexation. The letter to Israeli leaders stated, “If you move forward with unilateral annexation, we would not support that action. This is consistent with long-standing American policy opposing unilateral actions by either party to the conflict. Pursuit of a viable, negotiated two state solution is essential to ensuring our shared democratic values and lasting bipartisan support for Israel in Congress.”  Full letter text

Senator Tina Smith

“I want to be clear that, as a United States Senator, I am deeply opposed to such an annexation and believe the United States should not support it, fundamentally because it would make two states virtually impossible to achieve. Such a two-state solution is the only path that ensures all parties can live together peacefully with dignity and opportunity, Israel as a Jewish and democratic state and the Palestinians with dignity and self-determination.” Full letter text

Senator Tom Udall

Joined 19 senators in signing a letter opposing annexation. The letter to Israeli leaders stated, “If you move forward with unilateral annexation, we would not support that action. This is consistent with long-standing American policy opposing unilateral actions by either party to the conflict. Pursuit of a viable, negotiated two state solution is essential to ensuring our shared democratic values and lasting bipartisan support for Israel in Congress.”  Full letter text

Senator Chris Van Hollen

Co-authored a letter, signed by eighteen senators, opposing annexation. The letter to Israeli leaders stated, “If you move forward with unilateral annexation, we would not support that action. This is consistent with long-standing American policy opposing unilateral actions by either party to the conflict. Pursuit of a viable, negotiated two state solution is essential to ensuring our shared democratic values and lasting bipartisan support for Israel in Congress.”  Full letter text

Senator Elizabeth Warren

Joined 19 senators in signing a letter opposing annexation. The letter to Israeli leaders stated, “If you move forward with unilateral annexation, we would not support that action. This is consistent with long-standing American policy opposing unilateral actions by either party to the conflict. Pursuit of a viable, negotiated two state solution is essential to ensuring our shared democratic values and lasting bipartisan support for Israel in Congress.”  Full letter text

Senator Mark Warner

“I say this as a strong supporter of Israel: Israel should not unilaterally annex parts of the West Bank. It could threaten the security of Israel and the region and hurt the potential for peace with the Palestinians.” See tweet

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse

Joined 19 senators in signing a letter opposing annexation. The letter to Israeli leaders stated, “If you move forward with unilateral annexation, we would not support that action. This is consistent with long-standing American policy opposing unilateral actions by either party to the conflict. Pursuit of a viable, negotiated two state solution is essential to ensuring our shared democratic values and lasting bipartisan support for Israel in Congress.”  Full letter text

Senator Ron Wyden

“As steadfast supporters of a negotiated two-state solution, we are very concerned by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s stated intention to annex parts of the West Bank. We oppose unilateral actions by either side that could further threaten the prospects for a just and lasting peace, and the Prime Minister must refrain from such a provocative step.” Full statement released with Senator Richard Blumenthal

Senate Candidates

 The following public statements of opposition to unilateral West Bank annexation were provided to J Street by leading candidates for US Senate:

Cal Cunningham (NC)

“The US and Israel have a special and unique relationship, which makes it especially important for us to hold each other accountable to our shared values and goals. Unilateral action by Israel to annex land in the West Bank would deal a significant blow to our shared goal of a two-state solution, and could damage long-standing relationships that are key to security. Unilateral action, by any party, could set the region back and foreclose the opportunity to achieve the long-term peace that is key to the prosperity, security and freedom of Israelis and Palestinians.”

Sara Gideon (ME)

“Unilateral annexation by the Israeli government is a dangerous step that threatens the security of Israel and its neighbors, and puts the goal of a two-state solution at risk. As Israel’s closest friend and ally, the United States should speak out against this plan and work with the Israeli government to foster the circumstances necessary for a stable and enduring peace that protects the human rights of Israelis and Palestinians.”

Theresa Greenfield (IA)

“As a strong supporter of Israel and the mother of a son in the U.S. Army, I am strongly in favor of a two-state solution that would provide peace and security for Israelis and Palestinians, and promote stability throughout the region. I cannot support one-sided efforts to annex the West Bank that will only set us back from this critical goal.”

Al Gross (AK)

“I will strongly oppose any measures that would undermine the path toward two states on either side of the conflict. This includes steps on the Israeli side such as annexation of land, increased settlement activity, or severance of aid to the Palestinian Authority…Further, the formal annexation of the West Bank would be a catastrophic step that would not only jeopardize the two-state solution, but Israel’s very identity as the Democratic homeland of the Jewish people. Annexation is nothing short of an existential threat to Israel as we know it. As a reliable friend of Israel, I will not shrink from saying so.”

Jaime Harrison (SC)

“I support a two-state solution and oppose any actions that threaten long-term peace. These events have marked yet another worrisome escalation and exemplify the threat that annexation poses to regional stability.”

MJ Hegar (TX)

“In order to ensure a stable national security environment for the United States and our allies, we need to be actively pursuing peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Any action by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his allies to unilaterally annex land in the West Bank will destabilize security in the region and irreparably damage the possibility of peace.”

John Hickenlooper (CO)

“The two-state solution remains the best way to achieve long term peace and stability for both Israelis and Palestinians. I oppose unilateral actions that move us away from this goal, including annexation of the West Bank. In the Senate, I will continue to advocate for advancing Israel’s security and stability and work with J Street towards achieving lasting peace in the region.”

Senator Mark Kelly (AZ)

“I oppose the administration’s reversal on decades of existing U.S. policy, including those on settlements. And I don’t support unilateral measures, such as annexation, that endanger the peace process and a two-state solution.”

Amy McGrath (KY)

“In my career, I have personally been a part of the close military and intelligence collaboration and bond between the U.S. and Israel. The survival and security of Israel are in the United States’ interest, and a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is fundamental to Israel’s security.

I oppose any unilateral actions that obstruct the path toward two states on either side of the conflict. I disagree with the decision to unilaterally annex land in the West Bank by July 2020. This is not a wise “diplomatic step” but rather an action that could permanently prevent the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel.”

Jon Ossoff (GA)

“Unilateral Israeli annexation of territory in the West Bank undermines efforts to achieve a two state solution. A sustainable and humane resolution of conflict can only be achieved by diplomacy. Annexation would represent an abandonment of the peace process established in Oslo in 1993, and it would confirm the failure of contemporary Israeli and Palestinian political leaders to resolve these disputes diplomatically. It is clearer year by year that a new generation of Israeli and Palestinian leaders must emerge to chart a course that will ensure freedom, security, peace, and prosperity for all inhabitants of the region.”