Israel Policy Forum expresses its strong opposition to Prime Minister Netanyahu’s stated intent to annex the Jordan Valley following the September 17 election and to apply Israeli sovereignty to settlements following the release of the Trump peace initiative. Unilateral West Bank annexation, no matter how partial or in what form, will have disastrous consequences for Israel, its security, and its status as a Jewish and democratic state. Once the annexation process begins, it will become exceedingly difficult to control or limit in any effective way, and to take any steps down this path is unprecedentedly irresponsible and reckless.

The Jordan Valley is critical to Israel’s security, which is why any permanent status agreement with the Palestinians must include tangible measures to safeguard Israeli security needs. Unilaterally annexing the territory risks destroying any possibility of future security cooperation with the Palestinians and puts security cooperation with the Jordanians at risk. This is not a security measure, but political electioneering designed to use security for campaign ends.

We urge Prime Minister Netanyahu and the Israeli government not to proceed with any type of annexation or unilaterally applying sovereignty to Jewish communities in the West Bank. We further call on the Trump administration not to lend its support to this disastrous policy. It marks the beginning of the fundamental destruction of the two-state vision, which is supported by the international community, an overwhelming majority of American Jews, and pluralities of Israelis and Palestinians. To do so will exacerbate partisan divisions on Israel in the United States, ultimately erode Israel’s security, give an unnecessary and clear victory to the BDS movement, and upend decades of carefully calibrated policy on Israel.