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House Democrats Pen Letter Against Israeli Annexation Plans
Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla. (right), one of four authors of the letter, with Rep. Albio Sires (D-NJ) (left) and US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, at the US Embassy in Jerusalem, July 1, 2018. (USAmbIsrael account/Twitter)

House Democrats Pen Letter Against Israeli Annexation Plans

Democratic legislators in the US House of Representatives have penned a letter warning of alleged dangers should Israel move forward with annexing parts of the West Bank in accordance with the Trump Administration’s Middle East peace plan. The missive, whose aim is to unite the party on the issue, claims that the application of Israeli sovereignty over about 30% of the Palestinian-claimed territory would create regional instability and prompt Arab and European countries to downgrade ties with the Jewish state. “Unilateral annexation would likely jeopardize Israel’s significant progress on normalization with Arab states [and risks creating insecurity in Jordan, in particular,] at a time when closer cooperation can contribute to countering shared threats,” the letter sent on Monday to every House Democrat read in part. “Finally, unilateral annexation could create serious problems for Israel with its European friends and other partners around the world. We do not see how any of these acute risks serve the long-term interest of a strong, secure Israel.” Notably, the letter did not spell out any potential negative effects to US-Israel ties, but, rather, restated the Democratic party’s commitment to upholding the “special” bilateral relationship. At the same time, its authors nevertheless expressed “deep concern” over the initiative and urged Jerusalem to reconsider its position. It comes after 18 Senate Democrats last month sent a letter to Israel’s government threatening that annexation would “fray” ties with Washington. A previous draft had suggested that the move would lead to a complete severing of ties with the party. Despite being toned down, the letter failed to garner majority support among Senate Democrats. The sponsors of the House letter are aiming to garner signatures from nearly all 235 Democratic members of the congressional chamber.

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