On July 1 Israel’s new government will begin to consider unilateral annexation in the West Bank. Voices as different as J Street and Daniel Pipes agree that, as Pipes wrote, annexation is “dumb.” (Jewish World, 5/14/20, p. 6)
Here we can listen to Ami Ayalon, one of the 300 former Israeli senior security members who form Commanders for Israel Security. Please keep in mind that Ayalon is the recipient of Israel’s highest decoration, the Medal of Valor. He was the commander of the Israel Navy, and after Rabin’s assassination he was made director of the Shin Bet, and after the Ansariyeh disaster he transformed it into an improved counter-terrorism force. In short, no one is more dedicated or experienced in working for Israel’s security.
According to Ayalon, annexation will likely lead to the end of Israel, as we know it, as a secure Jewish and democratic state. The Palestinian Authority will likely dissolve, leaving Israel responsible for governing 2.6 million Palestinians and suppressing terrorism without the cooperation of the Palestinian Authority. Israel will have to create some kind of legal status for Palestinians that, no matter how convoluted, leaves them either full citizens with equal voting rights, or unequal individuals without genuine democratic rights. That will leave Israel as either a Jewish, undemocratic state or a democratic, non-Jewish state. Jordan will likely be destabilized. As to the wider Arab world — when Jared Kushner tried to rouse support for the Trump plan, on which Israel’s annexation is modelled, he got exactly nowhere. We could go on with the destructive consequences of unilateral annexation for Israel’s security and rule of law, Middle East stability and U.S. security interests.
Annexation is opposed by a majority of Israeli Jews, by 300 former high-ranking officers of the Israeli security establishment, by the international community, by the majority of the U.S. House of Representatives, and by the Democratic candidate for president.
A precondition of the unilateral annexation plan, as laid down in Israel’s new governing agreement, is that any move must receive the approval of the United States. If you believe in a secure, Jewish and democratic state of Israel, please let your president, senators and congressperson know that you want them to publicly and unequivocally oppose annexation.