(June 17, 2020 / JNS) Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) has sent a letter to U.S. President Donald Trump ahead of Israel’s expected plans to apply sovereignty to the Jordan Valley, as well as parts of Judea and Samaria, known internationally as the West Bank.
“Unilateral Israeli annexation of the West Bank could permanently impede the prospects for a negotiated two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” wrote Harris in the June 16 letter. “As a strong supporter of the U.S.-Israel relationship, I oppose any such move.”
Harris acknowledges that although “the prospects for a two-state solution in the near-term appear dim, I believe that peace between Israelis and Palestinians is possible only through direct negotiations and an agreement that results in two states for two peoples.”
The senator went on to express that annexation would pose “serious risks for Israel, including for its security [that] could result in serious conflict, the further breakdown of security cooperation with Palestinian security forces, and the disruption of peaceful relations between Israel and her neighbors, Jordan and Egypt.”
Furthermore, Harris stated that annexation, which Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government plans to begin starting July 1, “would make Israel’s future as both a Jewish and democratic state uncertain” and would undermine the “rights, dignity and aspirations for statehood of the Palestinian people.”
Finally, Harris accused the Trump administration of apparently giving “a green light to unilateral annexation, despite the risks to peace and Israel’s security and democracy.”
“This is a dangerous abandonment of decades of U.S. policy—and the historic role of both Democratic and Republican presidents in particular—in helping bring Israeli and Palestinian leaders to the negotiating table to do the hard work of making peace.”
The administration has said that annexation can occur within the context of its Mideast peace plan, which was released earlier this year.
Harris’s letter adds to the growing list of Democrats in both the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate expressing opposition to the upcoming expected Israeli move.
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