Deutch warns: Trump's reelection not reason to jump the gun on annexation

"That's not how to make decisions that impact... the long-term security needs of Israel," the democratic representative said.

US President Donald Trump unveils his Middle East peace plan together with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the White House on January 28, 2020 (photo credit: REUTERS)
US President Donald Trump unveils his Middle East peace plan together with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the White House on January 28, 2020
(photo credit: REUTERS)
WASHINGTON – Urgently moving forward with annexation because President Donald Trump might not be reelected is not the way to make decisions that could impact the Jewish state's long-term security and support, said Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Florida 22nd District) on Tuesday. 
“We've seen some quotes about the urgency of moving forward because President Donald Trump might not get reelected,” he said. “That's not how to make decisions that impact both the long-term security needs of Israel and the long-term bipartisan support for the US-Israel relationship."
But Deutch said that expressing concern over the application of Israeli law over West Bank settlements doesn't make anyone less of a friend to Israel. 
"We shouldn't let the US-Israel relationship be determined solely on this issue," Deutch said, "It's about so much more than that, but we can't ignore this."
He addressed the prospects of the possible annexation of some areas of the West Bank in a conversation hosted on Tuesday by the Israel Policy Forum. Deutch is chairman of the Subcommittee on the Middle East, North Africa and International Terrorism in the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
"A directly negotiated two-state solution is a mainstream position, and expressing concern about unilateral annexation isn't extreme at all," he said. "It's the position of most of the American Jewish community. It's a way to preserve Israel's future as a secure Jewish and democratic state. It's also the way to get Palestinian people the hope eventually for a state of their own, in a prosperous and peaceful future, and saying that doesn't make anyone less of a friend of Israel," Deutch added.
He noted that the Trump administration's peace plan is "very clear that specific details of the Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement have to be worked out directly between the parties.
“All of these concerns that need to be on the table for discussion, don't suggest any antipathy or any outright attack against any policy of Israel,” Deutch concluded. “They're all meant to make sure that we're having a full and clear understanding of so many of the issues that I've tried to raise about what this might ultimately do long term to the prospects of peace and Israel security.”
 


Tags West Bank