Israel Policy Forum firmly rejects comments made by US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman in an interview with The New York Times, published this past weekend, in which he suggested that Israel has the right to annex parts of the West Bank.  While Ambassador Friedman’s remarks are not surprising, given his long publicized pro-settlement and anti-two-state outlook, they are disturbing nonetheless. This maximalist agenda is out of step with the support for two states espoused by major American Jewish organizations, leading pro-Israel members of Congress, and the Israeli security establishment.

Annexation of West Bank territory would be deeply harmful to Israel’s long-term future as a Jewish, democratic, and secure state and would portend serious negative consequences for Israeli, Palestinian, and American interests. Although Israel would undoubtedly retain certain settlement blocs under any viable two-state agreement, unilateral partial annexation, as suggested by Ambassador Friedman, would upend the two-state framework by replacing negotiations between the parties with unilateral steps that prejudge final status negotiations; create an uncertain security and diplomatic environment for Israel; risk precipitating the collapse of the Palestinian Authority and catalyze a security, economic, and institutional nightmare; and potentially lead to an unwanted Israeli takeover of the entire West Bank, undermining Israel’s Jewish and democratic character. Such a scenario — which is underscored by the findings of the network of over 290 retired high-ranking Israeli security officials of the Commanders for Israel’s Security — would be a disaster for Israelis and Palestinians.

Israel Policy Forum remains steadfast in our commitment to support a sustainable two-state vision. Moreover, we will continue to sound the alarm on the dangers of West Bank annexation, whether its proponents are American or Israeli officials.


We also encourage you to explore additional resources about the ramifications of annexation:

  • Watch the recent Israel Policy Forum-JCPA webinar on the ramifications of West Bank annexation, featuring Executive Director David A. Halperin, Policy Director Michael Koplow, and Manger of Programs and Partnerships Sierra DeCrosta
  • Read the letter by Israel Policy Forum with other major American Jewish organizations to President Trump calling on the administration to challenge West Bank annexation
  • Read the op-ed from Maj. Gen. (ret.) Avi Mizrahi, member of the Commanders for Israel’s Security Steering Committee
  • Watch our explainer video on the West Bank areas and how they impact partial annexation proposals
  • Read former Mossad Director Tamir Pardo’s op-ed on Zionism and annexation
  • Read the statement from pro-Israel members of Congress standing for two states and opposing West Bank annexation
  • Find more resources, including videos, podcasts, and analysis on our Annexation Watch website