Nine Jewish groups have urged US President Donald Trump to curb the annexation by the Tel Aviv regime of the occupied West Bank, a Palestinian territory sought by his close ally Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
In an unprecedented letter written to Trump, the Jewish groups, which included five associated with the Reform and Conservative movements, said, “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.”
It also urged Trump to “declare that the United States will not support any Israeli proposals to annex the West Bank, in whole or in part.”
A few days before Israel’s April 9 election, Netanyahu said he would not shy away from expanding Israel’s illegal annexations to cover the West Bank, a land currently accommodated by settlers which Israeli regime occupied in the 1967 Middle East war.
Washington has already recognized Israel’s annexation of Syria’s Golan Heights.The Jewish groups warned that the “electoral pledge” will lead to “greater conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, severely undermine, if not entirely eradicate, the successful security coordination” between the Israeli regime and the Palestinian Authority.
The letter, in which mainstream Jewish groups are asking a US president to take steps to restrain an Israeli prime minister, is reportedly unusual, if not unprecedented.
The document, which was released early Friday to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, also warned that the pledge will “galvanize efforts such as the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement that are intended to isolate and delegitimize Israel.”
The Jewish groups noted that Netanyahu’s decision would “create intense divisions” in the US and would undermine support for Israel.
The warning, which comes from the leadership of the two largest religious streams in the US, with a combined membership that would constitute an overwhelming majority of synagogue-going Jewish Americans, is seen as so important.
A spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Netanyahu’s comments, which many believe have been made to change the tide in his favor in the election that he won, would not affect the illegal nature of the Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Some 400,000 settlers currently live there.
“Any measures and any announcements will not change the facts. Settlements are illegal and they will be removed,” said Nabil Abu Rdainah.