Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a tour of the Jordan Valley
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a tour of the Jordan Valley
Photo: Reuven Castro
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a tour of the Jordan Valley

West Bank annexation is negligent, dangerous and redundant

Opinion: Aside from the security threats the plan poses to Israel, suddenly placing millions of Palestinians under Israeli sovereignty would jeopardize Zionism's central vision for a Jewish State

Amos Gilad |
Published: 06.09.20, 15:18
sIt is becoming clearer and clearer that the plan to annex parts of the West Bank is a negligent and dangerous gamble – and if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu does eventually go through with it, it will pose a severe threat to Israeli national security.
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  • This national security stems from the wonderful and effective coordination with Jordan and the Palestinian Authority.
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    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a tour of the Jordan Valley
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a tour of the Jordan Valley
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a tour of the Jordan Valley
    (Photo: Reuven Castro)
    These agreements grant Israel a strategic space spanning from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordanian-Iraqi border, an area which keeps the country safe and serves as a deterrent against both terrorist and military threats.
    The amount of effort needed to keep this achievement going is rather small and demands minimal effort from the IDF, thanks to Israel's intelligence capabilities and the security coordination with Jordan and the PA.
    Meanwhile, even the very intention to annex is stirring controversy and resistance in both Europe and a large swathe of the United States, including with Democratic presidential candidate and former vice president Joe Biden.
    Furthermore, Israel's Arab neighbors, contrary to promises given, do not support U.S. President Donald Trump's peace plan and no nation is projected to change its mind anytime soon.
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    ארה"ב ג'ו ביידן נאום מהומות ג'ורג' פלויד
    ארה"ב ג'ו ביידן נאום מהומות ג'ורג' פלויד
    Democratic presidential candidate anf former vice president Joe Biden
    (Photo: MCT)
    Above it all, it raises the question of what Israel will become when it annexes land inhabited by millions of Palestinians.
    Such a move will likely gnaw at the legitimacy of the Palestinian Authority to the point of its collapse, opening the door for radical groups such as Hamas to blame Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for the peace process' failure and embark on the path of violence and terrorism.
    Israel already must deal with the threat from Iran and its proxies in the region, a task that requires many resources. Undermining the stability and quiet on the Jordanian front may impair necessary action against terrorist threats.
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    King Hussein of Jordan, U.S. President Bill Clinton and Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin at the signing of the bilateral peace treaty at the White House, July 25, 1994
    King Hussein of Jordan, U.S. President Bill Clinton and Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin at the signing of the bilateral peace treaty at the White House, July 25, 1994
    King Hussein of Jordan, U.S. President Bill Clinton and Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin at the signing of the bilateral peace treaty at the White House, July 25, 1994
    (Photo: Archive)
    Why is annexation necessary? There is no logical answer. At this moment, even if it does not go through, its failure would still harm relations with the United States, given that its current president has suffered personal insult from Israeli leaders and public figures.
    Especially disturbing is the scenario of a bi-national country, with a population equally split between Jews and Palestinians, that would put the Zionist dream to the test.
    Israel's leaders must do away with the annexation plan, but still strengthen its military presence in the Jordan Valley.
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    הבקעה
    הבקעה
    A Palestinian village in the Jordan Valley
    (Photo: Gil Yohanon)
    The outline of the plan and the U.S. view of it are still unclear given that the Americans are currently dealing with internal strife.
    Annexation is unnecessary and potentially very harmful for Israel's current and future security.
    Israel would be better off avoiding such a move, so that it does not join the list of abysmal strategic decisions the country has made in the past.
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