Ex-IDF commanders: Annexing West Bank means end of Jewish state

A group of former high-ranking security officials says Israel is on course to lose its Jewish and democratic character if it goes through with Education Minister Naftali Bennett’s plan to annex portions of the West Bank.

“We shouldn’t annex the West Bank and its 2.5 million Palestinians. We must preserve Israel as a democracy and a state for the Jewish people,” the group’s chairman Maj. Gen. (res.) Amnon Reshef tells reporters at a press conference in Tel Aviv.

Reshef’s group, Commanders for the Security of Israel, is made up of hundreds of former high-ranking officers from Israel’s security services. It made waves on Sunday after it put up billboards across the country that warned of a Palestinian takeover of Israel.

The group is apolitical but committed to a two-state solution with the Palestinians, which it sees as the only way to protect the country and its citzens.

“I don’t want trucks to come from [the East Jerusalem neighborhood of ]Jabel Mukaber into Jerusalem and run over soldiers. I don’t want them,” former head of the IDF Central Command Maj. Gen. (res.) Gadi Shamni says.

Shamni was referring to a terror attack last week in which a truck driver from Jabel Mukaber rammed his vehicle into a group of IDF soldiers, killing four of them and injuring more than a dozen others.

According to Shabtai Shavit, a former director of the Mossad, the country’s leadership has no plan to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“Does anyone know what Israel wants today? When I say Israel, I mean the government. Does anyone know where the hell we’re going? Or, more accurately, does anyone know where they’re taking us?” Shavit asks.

— Judah Ari Gross

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