Republicans offer show of support to Israel ahead of annexation move

Letter signed by a majority of House Republicans backs Israel's right to ensure 'defensible borders'


The political split over Israel in the USA became more apparent amid reports that White House officials are due to meet this week over whether to approve Israel’s plan to annex parts of the West Bank.

A majority of Republicans in the House of Representatives have signed a letter supporting Israel’s right to fix its borders – in contrast to a letter from House Democrats critical of the proposed annexationi.

The move to extend Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley is in line with the Trump peace plan published earlier this year – although the American administration has so far stopped short of endorsing any immediate implementation.

The letter -  signed by 116 out of 198 Republican representatives including the party’s leader in the House Kevin McCarthy -  emphasised Israel’s “right to make sovereign decisions independent of outside pressure”.

They said they were “deeply concerned by threats being expressed by some to retaliate against Israel as it makes decisions to ensure defensible borders”,

They declared support for “the Trump administration’s engagement with Israel on the Vision for Peace Plan, which was based on the critical premise that Israel should never be forced to compromise its security.”

They noted that the Palestinians had “time and time again” rejected Israel’s bids for peace.

The Democrat letter, which began circulating last week, however said that “unilateral annexation, and unilateral action by any side, would jeopardise long-standing efforts to achieve a viable two-state solution”.

The Democrats control the House of Representatives, but the Republicans have a majority in the Senate.


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