It “would be a mistake” for the United States to alter its alliance with Israel were the Jewish state to follow through with annexing parts of the West Bank, said the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) on Monday.

In a statement, the pro-Israel lobby said: “The U.S.-Israel relationship is a mutually beneficial partnership that reinforces America’s moral values and strategic interests. This relationship with the only democracy in the Middle East is a key pillar of America’s regional security framework. The U.S.-Israel partnership is constantly growing and expanding into new areas, including science, technology, health, energy, agriculture, homeland security and defense.

“Today, some have proposed reducing our ties with Israel because they object to the potential decision by Israel’s leaders to extend Israeli sovereignty to parts of the West Bank. Doing anything to weaken this vital relationship would be a mistake.”

The statement comes as Democratic senators and left-wing groups, including J Street and Democratic Majority for Israel, have warned against Israeli annexation of Jewish neighborhoods in the West Bank.

AIPAC stressed that “a strong U.S.-Israel relationship is essential for achieving a genuine peace between the Jewish state and its Arab neighbors, including the Palestinians. A viable two-state agreement is only attainable if America’s support for Israel is ironclad, and the Jewish state knows it can take risks for peace because its ally and partner has its back.”

The pro-Israel lobby continued that “despite the increasingly close ties between the two allies, it is inevitable that there will be areas of political or policy disagreement between leaders on both sides—as there are between America and all our allies. However, bipartisan support for the fundamentals of the U.S.-Israel strategic relationship must supersede any policy dispute. This is important for not only Israel’s security but for America’s as well. Indeed, America is more secure when Israel is strong.”

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