WASHINGTON – The Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) has issued a statement voicing support for Israel applying sovereignty over parts of the West Bank and announcing a lobbying effort for the move.
“We will be making a major lobbying effort to encourage Republicans in the Senate and House to express their support for the government of Israel and to support Israel’s extending sovereignty over parts of Judea, Samaria and the Jordan Valley, in order to promote the security of its citizens and the stability of the region,” RJC National Chairman Senator Norm Coleman said in the statement.
“Republicans are strong and vocal supporters of our cherished ally Israel, and they respect the sovereignty of the State of Israel,” Coleman said. “The RJC is grateful for their words and their actions. While many Democrats in Congress have been vocal in opposing annexation, Republican lawmakers were mostly silent about the issue.”
According to the RJC, “it has long been understood that the areas under consideration would become part of Israel under a negotiated peace settlement. Tragically, such a settlement has been impossible, because the Palestinian leadership has never given up their goal of destroying Israel. A full 53 years after the 1967 war, it is time for Israelis in the Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria and the Jordan Valley to have the same full rights and status as their fellow citizens in Tel Aviv and Haifa.”
The RJC statement comes after JTA reported on Wednesday that AIPAC, the leading pro-Israel lobby in the United States, is telling lawmakers that they are free to criticize Israel’s looming annexation plans – just as long as the criticism stops there.
Two sources – a congressional aide and a donor – told JTA that AIPAC is delivering that guidance in Zoom meetings and phone calls with lawmakers. The message is unusual, because the group assiduously discourages public criticism of Israel.