Last week Ameinu joined with nine other American Jewish organizations in a letter calling upon President Trump to maintain long standing U.S. policy in favor of a two state solution and to oppose any Israeli moves to annex settlements in the West Bank, as pledged by Prime Minister Netanyahu during the election campaign:
Dear President Trump,
The undersigned organizations unequivocally support efforts to reach a durable peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians and endorse the priority that you have placed on addressing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We strongly urge you to pledge that any peace initiative your administration proposes will be based upon the principle of a negotiated two-state solution – as codified in bipartisan resolutions recently introduced in the House of Representatives and in the Senate – and to clearly express your opposition to unilateral measures outside of this framework, including annexation by Israel of any territory in the West Bank.
We, the undersigned, believe that a two-state solution is the only formulation to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that will ensure Israel’s future as Jewish, democratic, and secure. While that solution is unlikely to hew precisely to the 1967 borders, any territorial adjustments must result in a signed agreement between the two sides. Annexation of the West Bank, whether in whole or in part, could destroy any chance of a negotiated two-state solution between the parties. We believe that it will lead to greater conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, severely undermine, if not entirely eradicate, the successful security coordination between the State of Israel and the Palestinian Authority, and galvanize efforts such as the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement that are intended to isolate and delegitimize Israel. It will create intense divisions in the United States and make unwavering support for Israel and its security far more difficult to maintain.
West Bank annexation is a topic that is currently being debated in Israel, and was endorsed right before the election by Prime Minister Netanyahu himself as an electoral pledge. It is increasingly being touted as a measure that the United States would potentially support, despite concerns that it would damage Israel’s fundamental security while putting its core interest in maintaining a Jewish and democratic state at risk. This would effectively run counter to shared American and Israeli democratic values and long-standing US-Israel mutual interests.
We recognize that the current environment may not be conducive to direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations and a permanent resolution. However, we also believe action should not be taken by either side that would make an ultimate two-state solution unviable. We respectfully request that you affirm long-standing bipartisan consensus that the two-state solution is the essential path to an Israel existing alongside a future state of Palestine in peace and security and that you declare that the United States will not support any Israeli proposals to annex the West Bank, in whole or in part.
Central Conference of American Rabbis
Israel Policy Forum
National Council of Jewish Women
Union for Reform Judaism
United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism