As Israel approaches the 1 July trigger date for activating sovereign rights over Judea-Samaria, a veteran American pro-Israel group is expressing grave concerns about Israel’s predicament. “Sovereignty should not be contingent on a dangerous political compromise,” American for a Safe Israel (AFSI) cautioned yesterday.
AFSI leaders said that “Trump’s 70/30 could be dangerous”, referring to the Trump peace plan which favors applying Israeli law to only 30% of Judea, Samaria and the Jordan Valley, while eventually and conditionally giving over 70% of the territory to a new Palestinian Arab state.
The organization praised the Trump administration’s frequent “principled statements” on the historic territorial rights of the Jewish people but said these statements entirely contradicted the peace plan. “If the Jewish people have historic rights over 100% of the territory, why set aside 70% for the Arab Palestinians? What is the source of this dissonance?” AFSI leaders charged.
AFSI, which opposes the two-state outcome, also warned that the benchmarks indicated in the deal could be changed or overlooked by future key decision makers, resulting in a hostile and irreversible Palestinian Arab state which would threaten Israel from close range.
In Israel, the Trump administration’s counterparts also continued to voice concerns about the Trump peace plan. On the issue of a Palestinian state, Prime Minister Netanyahu conceded, in talks with Judea-Samaria local leaders that “he understood the opposition to that portion of the Trump plan”. Daniella Weiss, formerly one of Israel’s few female mayors, told Israel’s Knesset Channel today that she strongly favored activation of sovereignty -- over all parts of Judea-Samaria. However, she said, she opposed the Trump Plan whose key objective is “establishing a Palestinian state in the heart of the land of Israel”.
Daniella Weiss’s son-in-law and his parents were killed in their home by terrorists during the Second Intifada in 2002. Weiss’s daughter miraculously survived the attack by hiding under the kitchen table, holding a baby.
On Israel’s predicament on whether to undertake to “negotiate on the basis of” a plan which explicitly calls for a Palestinian Arab state, AFSI urged Israel to “act solely on the basis of its own interests”.
Americans for a Safe Israel was founded soon after the Six-Day War, seeking to stress Israel’s “historic, religious, and legal rights to reclaim Judea and Samaria” and regarding a territorially defensible Israel as “essential to U.S. security interests”. AFSI recently cancelled their Spring 2020 mission to Israel due to the coronavirus crisis. AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, also just cancelled its 2021 policy conference.