Former US ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro, warns against further alienating Democrats

Dan Shapiro, former US ambassador to Israel speaks out against annexation, warns of further alienating 'friends of Israel in Dem. Party.'

Eitan Divinsky ,

Dan Shapiro
Dan Shapiro
Flash 90

Former Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro spoke on Thursday at Shurat Hadin's roundtable event on the annexation of parts of Judea and Samaria, saying he was concerned by the prospects of Israel's application of sovereignty because "US interests may be harmed."

He said that while he didn't expect an immediate increase in terrorist attacks in wake of the move, "cooperation between Israel and the PA would likely cease to exist, forcing Israel to take control of all the 'Palestinian areas,'" raising the "potential for destabilization in Jordan" and making it more difficult for the Hashemite Kingdom to ward off terrorist organizations like ISIS.

Shapiro also said that in his many conversations with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu over the years, Netanyahu opposed the idea of annexation since he saw it as de facto recognition of a Palestinian state in the non-annexed areas. "Netanyahu supported annexation for the first time just before the last elections," he stated.

The former ambassador also warned of further alienating US Democrats. "There is a consensus voice within the Democratic party against annexation. If the Palestinian Authority should weaken, Israel would have to take control of a much wider area which would harm our relations with Israel. When friends of Israel in the Democratic Party urge Israel not to proceed with annexation, doing so would impact American bi-partisan support for Israel," he asserted.

Shapiro went on to state he "[does] not think peace can be achieved with the current leadership of Israel and the PA."

Earlier in the day, The Hill reported that 189 House Democrats penned a letter to Israel's leaders urging them to "reconsider" the government's intended plans to annex parts of Judea and Samaria.

"We remain steadfast in our belief that pursuing two states for two peoples is essential to ensuring a secure, Jewish, democratic Israel able to live side-by-side, in peace and mutual recognition, with an independent, viable, de-militarized Palestinian state," they wrote.

The lawmakers said Israel had little to gain and much to lose. They alluded to threats made by Jordan's King Abdullah II and representatives of the EU and UN, and claimed the move would likely put an end to hopes of a two-state solution.

Addressing Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi (Blue and White), and Defense Minister Benny Gantz (Blue and White), they wrote, "We do not see how any of these acute risks serve the long-term interest of a strong, secure Israel. As committed partners in supporting and protecting the special US-Israel relationship, we express our deep concern with the stated intention to move ahead with any unilateral annexation of West Bank territory, and we urge your government to reconsider plans to do so."



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