Part 5 - Pandering to His Evangelical Base, Trump Will Likely Greenlight Israel’s Annexation
As he campaigns for the November presidential election, Trump is likely to support annexation in an appeal to his Evangelical base. “Coronavirus or not … this much is clear: Trump will greenlight the annexation to secure his Evangelical base going into the election,” Israel lobbyist Martin Indyk tweeted.
Even liberal Zionist organizations oppose Israel’s annexation plan. The Israel lobby group J Street favors placing conditions on some of the billions of dollars the United States provides to Israel if it proceeds with annexation.
“Annexation … will turn Israel into an international pariah that perpetuates the occupation and the conflict with the Palestinians, and that thumbs its nose at international law and the international community,” Ori Nir of Americans for Peace Now said. “Annexation will send a message to the citizens of Israel, the Palestinians and the entire world that Israel favors continuing its bloody conflict with the Palestinians and an apartheid-like reality in the West Bank over democracy and peace.”
In a letter to Gantz, 220 former high-ranking Israeli security officers, including an ex-military chief, sounded the alarm. “Unilateral annexation has the potential to ignite a serious conflagration,” they wrote. “Any partial annexation is likely to set in motion a chain reaction over which Israel will have no control, leading to the collapse of the Palestinian security agencies and of the Palestinian Authority. This, in turn, would require Israel to take full control over the entire West Bank.”
There is opposition in Congress to Israel’s annexation of the West Bank. On December 6, 2019, in a bipartisan vote, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 326, which discourages “steps by either side that would put a peaceful end to the conflict further out of reach, including unilateral annexation of territory.”
On April 8, 11 Democratic Congress members released a statement invoking H.R. 326 and opposing Israel’s planned annexation. “Amidst the current global health pandemic and financial crisis,” they urged the new Israeli government “not to create an additional crisis, by agreeing to move forward with unilateral annexation, the effects of which could yield additional catastrophic consequences for all parties in the region and beyond.”