AIPAC: Don’t let annexation weaken ‘vital’ US-Israel relationship
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AIPAC: Don’t let annexation weaken ‘vital’ US-Israel relationship

Pro-Israel lobbying group, which favors a two-state solution, calls Jewish state ‘pillar of America’s regional security framework,’ says ‘reducing’ ties not in American interest

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks on a video from Israel to the 2019 American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) policy conference, at Washington Convention Center, in Washington, Tuesday, March 26, 2019. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks on a video from Israel to the 2019 American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) policy conference, at Washington Convention Center, in Washington, Tuesday, March 26, 2019. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — AIPAC said it would be a “mistake” to allow Israel’s annexation of parts of the West Bank, should it occur, to affect US-Israel ties.

The statement this week was the first from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s stated plans to annex parts of the West Bank by July 1. A number of groups on the left are mounting a campaign to get presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, as well as Democrats in the Senate, to speak out against the plans.

“Some have proposed reducing our ties with Israel because they object to the potential decision by Israel’s leaders to extend Israeli sovereignty to parts of the West Bank,” the statement said. “Doing anything to weaken this vital relationship would be a mistake.”

The statement cited Israel’s role as a “pillar of America’s regional security framework” and US-Israel cooperation in a number of areas, including scientific research.

Annexation backers march in the West Bank south of Jerusalem on February 27, 2020. (Gershon Elinson/ Flash90)

AIPAC, a major pro-Israel group, remains committed to the two-state solution. Those warning against annexation say it would undercut and perhaps kill off a two-state outcome.

A letter is circulating among Democratic senators that would caution Netanyahu’s government against annexation. The letter, first reported by Jewish Insider, has engendered tussling among Middle East advocacy groups in the Democratic camp: J Street backs the letter, while the Democratic Majority for Israel wants changes that would make it clear that assistance to Israel is not in question. Democratic Majority also has expressed opposition to annexation.

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