The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) said that it would be a "mistake" for the United States to change its relationship with Israel if the Jewish state goes through with plans to annex territory in the West Bank, according to a letter the lobbying group recently sent to its supporters.
The letter, obtained by the Israeli media, says that “some have proposed reducing our ties with Israel because they object to the potential decision by Israel’s leaders to extend Israeli sovereignty to parts of the West Bank. Doing anything to weaken this vital relationship would be a mistake.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced his intention of extending Israeli sovereignty over parts of the West Bank including settlements and the Jordan Valley as part of his election campaign following the unveiling of President Donald Trump's peace plan.
AIPAC, an influential lobbying group designed to protect Israeli-American interests, officially supports a two-state solution, which Palestinians, former Israeli security officials, and international experts believe would be irreparably harmed by Israel's even partial annexation of West Bank territory.
“Despite the increasingly close ties between the two allies, it is inevitable that there will be areas of political or policy disagreement between leaders on both sides – as there are between America and all our allies,” the letter reads.
According to Haaretz daily, AIPAC has not taken an official position on annexation, but if Netanyahu and Trump's administration decide to move forward on “applying sovereignty” to parts of the West Bank, the lobbying group would not be opposed.
Historically a bipartisan organization, AIPAC has struggled in recent years to maintain its healthy standing with Washington Democrats as Israel continues to drift toward the political right under successive Netanyahu governments.