J Street president Jeremy Ben-Ami.
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Liberal left-wing NGO J Street has slammed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for his comments on annexing territories of the West Bank if reelected as Israel's leader.
J Street president Jeremy Ben-Ami called Netanyahu’s promise "outrageous," adding that this confirms "what was already clear: The Israeli Right is determined to annex the West Bank and permanently prevent the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel."
"If carried out, even a partial annexation would be a disastrous blow to Israel’s security and democracy - and a severe violation of international law," he said. "Israel cannot rule permanently over millions of Palestinians while denying them equal civil and political rights.
Ben-Ami explained that while the Trump administration has actively enabled and empowered Netanyahu and the settlement movement, "all responsible American elected officials and presidential candidates must make clear that Netanyahu’s statement is dangerous and unacceptable - and that any West Bank annexations would bring about a major crisis in the US-Israel relationship."
He called on all American Jewish organizations that claim to support a two-state solution to "come together" and "unequivocally condemn the direction in which Netanyahu and his political allies are leading the State of Israel."
The J Street leader later added that, "at such a pivotal time, any silence or equivocation will be seen as condoning the prime minister’s vision of permanent occupation, unending conflict and a one-state nightmare.”
Netanyahu made the comments in an interview with Channel 12 on Saturday night, in which he vowed to annex territories in settlements and evacuate the illegal West Bank herding village of Khan Al-Ahmar, if he wins another term.
“We are dealing [with the Americans] on exercising Israeli sovereignty on Ma’aleh Adumim and other things,” Netanyahu said. “Everyone understands that the next term will be fateful for guaranteeing our security and our control over key territory in Judea and Samaria.”Gil Hoffman contributed to this report.
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