Europeans Putting More Energy into Annexation than Israelis
European foreign ministers appear to be preoccupied with Israel’s proposed annexation of lands it conquered in the 1967 war upon which the Palestinians want to build a state; and international forums continue to foment the controversy. But observers are now taking note of the fact that in the two capitals driving the issue – Jerusalem and Washington – momentum for the cause has all but dried up. As far as the White House is concerned, there is little upside to pressing the unpopular policy amid the perception that the Trump re-election campaign is faltering and greenlighting annexation would do nothing to boost the cause. On Capitol Hill, even politicians with longtime records of support for Israel have broken with the Jewish state over annexation. Reaction to the proposal is so toxic that Israel-partisans see the issue increasingly becoming a catalyst for anti-Israel fervor and a platform from which to defund American military aid and redistribute funding to include the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. The political landscape in Israel offers no incentive for US President Donald Trump to stick his electoral neck out as he did with the recognition of Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem and moving the US Embassy there from Tel Aviv. The awkward so-called “unity government” has projected an image of anything but and President Trump has made clear on numerous occasions that first and foremost in order to OK annexation he needs the Israeli leadership on the same page.