A group of former Israeli senior defense and security officials delivered a letter Tuesday to the Congress of the United States praising a recent anti-boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement resolution for endorsing a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“We are united in the conviction that a negotiated two-state agreement is essential to preserve the kind of Israel we dedicated our lives to fighting for on all fronts: a secure, thriving democracy with a solid Jewish majority for generations,” the letter to four members of the House of Representatives read.
It was signed by 25 retired Israeli generals, former heads of the Mossad and the Shin Bet security services and former advisors to Israeli Prime Ministers, including three who advised Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Signatories to the letter included former Mossad chiefs Shabtai Shavit and Danny Yatom, former Shin Bet head Ami Ayalon, former IDF general and Labor Party head Amram Mitzna, and former Deputy Minister of Defense and Cabinet member Efraim Sneh.
The letter was sent to U.S. Reps. Brad Schneider, Lee Zeldin, Jerry Nadler and Ann Wagner, staunch supporters of Israel and co-sponsors of the bill, which passed overwhelmingly in a 398-17 vote in July.
The bipartisan resolution condemned the BDS movement, while also expressing “strong support for a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict resulting in two states - a democratic Jewish State of Israel, and a viable, democratic Palestinian state.”
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The Israeli officials’ letter served as a counterweight to an August 13 letter sent by 21 right-wing members of Knesset which criticized the anti-BDS bill for promoting two states. It asserted that a Palestinian state would “undoubtedly be a dysfunctional terrorist state” which would “undermine stability” in the region and “severely damage the national security of both Israel and the United States.”
Tuesday's letter, by contrast, praised the Congress for “its overwhelming bipartisan endorsement of this position, which is critical to Israel’s future.”
The officials added that “anything that places this two-state vision at risk and undermines its prospects presents a real threat to Israel’s security. Most pressingly, we are mobilized to prevent any move toward unilateral territorial annexation - no matter how limited or incremental - or extending sovereignty to any Jewish community in Judea and Samaria.”
In addition, the officials warned that such annexation would harm security coordination between Israel and the Palestinian Authority and create a vacuum that would be “filled by hostile forces and terrorist activity” and leave the Israel Defense Forces with “no choice” but to reoccupy the entire West Bank.
“We look forward to future bipartisan congressional initiatives that explicitly identify annexation as a threat to Israel’s security, and Jewish and democratic future,” the letter read.