Congressman Sherman Statement on Possible Annexation of West Bank Territories
For many decades, the pro-Israel community has united behind one proposition: that final status issues should be negotiated directly between the parties.
Israel has built certain settlements west of the Green Line, both immediately and not immediately contiguous to Israel. The Arab League has recognized in recent years that any final status agreement would include land swaps- a step forward from the Arab League’s nearly two decades-old peace proposal which called on Israel to return to its pre-1967 boundaries.
As a life-long supporter of the U.S.-Israel alliance, I am concerned by the possibility within the coming weeks that Israel will take unilateral action in accordance with the Trump administration to apply Israeli sovereignty over nearly one third of the West Bank. As I told Ambassador Ron Dermer three weeks ago, such annexation would be a setback for the peace process and would do major harm to the U.S.-Israel relationship, as well as Israel’s standing in the world.
The best option is two states for two peoples, negotiated directly by the two parties, with mutually agreed upon land swaps.
It is imperative that Israel does not pursue unilateral annexation of parts of the West Bank, and the Palestinians do not dismantle security agreements with Israel, actions that would jeopardize or prejudice future negotiations and move the two parties further from peace.