Democrats Send Warning to Israel Against Annexation

YERUSHALAYIM -
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

A group of Democratic congressmen sent a letter to Israeli leaders on Thursday urging reconsideration of annexation plans, which they implied could harm the country’s relations with the U.S. if it goes forward.

“As committed partners in supporting and protecting the special U.S.-Israel relationship,” the missive said, “we express our deep concern with the stated intention to move ahead with any unilateral annexation of West Bank territory, and we urge your government to reconsider plans to do so.

“Unilateral annexation could create serious problems for Israel with its European friends and other partners around the world. We do not see how any of these acute risks serve the long-term interest of a strong, secure Israel,” the letter added.

It was signed by 189 Democratic members of the House of Representatives, and was organized by Florida Congressman Ted Deutch and Illinois Congressman Brad Schneider, who are regarded as pro-Israel, according to The Hill.

Among the signatories were House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, Judiciary Committee Chair Jerrold Nadler, Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Maryland Congressman Jamie Raskin. No Republicans joined them.

The letter came a day after a missive to President Trump from seven GOP senators that pointed to the president’s own peace plan, rolled out in January, which calls for recognizing Israel’s extension of sovereignty as simple reality.

“Mr. President, there is no other alternative to this fact-based approach, and as long as opponents of Israel and the U.S.-Israel relationship believe otherwise, peace will not be achievable,” wrote the senators, led by pro-Israel stalwarts Ted Cruz of Texas and Tom Cotton of Arkansas.

Meanwhile on Thursday, the 15 members of the Israeli Arab Joint List party sent a letter to Democratic members of the Congress urging them to take a firm stand against annexation, and to commit to disavowing it in any future Democratic administration.

MK Aida Touma-Sliman, who initiated the letter, said: “The annexation and the occupation are international issues. The U.S. administration constantly intervenes in the region and gives backing to the oppression of Palestinians. The administration can give the green light or pull the brakes on annexation.

“Hence, we asked members of the Democratic Party, who might assume power soon, to express their clear objection to the annexation plans, and to clarify that if it will take place, future administrations will not recognize its legitimacy, and will denounce the entire Trump plan.”