Right-wing, mostly Jewish US groups lobby Trump to back West Bank annexation

Over a dozen conservative organizations ask president to give Netanyahu a ‘free hand to extend Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria’. Several centrist Jewish groups have urged Trump not to agree.

Jewish settler looks at the West Bank settlement of Maaleh Adumim, from the E-1 area on the eastern outskirts of Jerusalem

Jewish Telegraph Agency, quoted in Times of Israel, reports, “A coalition of more than a dozen conservative groups, most of them Jewish, sent a letter to US President Donald Trump tacitly asking him to respect a potential Israeli annexation of West Bank settlements. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is almost certainly headed to a fifth term after winning last week’s election, promised voters he would gradually move to annex all the settlements of the West Bank. Many right-wing politicians in Israel have been pushing annexation of some or all Israeli settlements for years.”

“The letter comes in response to a coalition of centrist and liberal groups who last week urged Trump not to recognize a potential Israeli West Bank annexation. A map published by the US government Monday included the Golan Heights as part of Israel for the first time, after Trump recognized Israeli sovereignty there, but still referred to the West Bank as occupied. Text attached to the Israel entry in the CIA world factbook, which included the map, continued to call East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights “Israeli occupied.”

Plaque noting the financial help received from the Young Israel organization of Staten Island, New York adorns a building in the Jewish enclave of Hebron.

“Sent Tuesday, the conservatives’ letter never explicitly advocates annexation or asks Trump to support it. But a press statement accompanying the letter said it aimed to urge “President Trump to permit Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a free hand to extend Israeli sovereignty over Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria,” the biblical Jewish term for the West Bank.”

“For decades, Israel has attempted to nurture coexistence with Arab communities which desire to live outside Israeli governance, while retaining control over its borders and national security in that very hostile part of the world,” the letter says. “It is unfair and unreasonable to hold these Jewish communities hostage to the continuing intransigence of the Palestinian Authority.” (more…)


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