Pelosi Says Unilateral Israeli Annexation 'Undermines U.S. National Security Interests'

Annexation would harm American support for Israel, warns House speaker. She also blasted Trump for the rise in antisemitism during his presidency and for his response to the latest wave of racial justice protests

Amir Tibon
Amir Tibon
Washington
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Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (Democrat of California) speaking at the 2019 AIPAC policy conference in Washington.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (Democrat of California) speaking at the 2019 AIPAC policy conference in Washington. Credit: Jose Luis Magana/AP
Amir Tibon
Amir Tibon
Washington

WASHINGTON – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Thursday that unilateral Israeli annexation of the West Bank would undermine American national security interests and would harm bi-partisan support for Israel in America.

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Speaking at an online event organized by the Jewish Democratic Council of America, Pelosi added that she is “very concerned” about Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's statements promising annexation moves as early as July 1. 

Pelosi also noted that House Democrats passed a resolution recently in support of the two-state solution, which includes opposition to any unilateral steps, from either Israel or the Palestinians, which would harm the prospect of peace.

"Unilateral annexation undermines U.S. national security interests, our interests," Pelosi said, adding that she believes in the importance of bi-partisan support for Israel, and that annexation would undermine it.

Pelosi also addressed her dismay of Palestinian leadership or “of their capability to be good negotiating partners. I wish they could do better.” At the same time, she also criticized the Trump administration for waiting almost three years to release its Middle East plan.

“The U.S.-Israel relationship is so important to us because of the nature of our two countries, the values we have in common,” Pelosi added.

During the call, Pelosi also attacked President Donald Trump over rising antisemitism in America, and said that for years, whenever members of Congress went on official visits to Europe, she would encourage them to tell their hosts how concerned the U.S. is about antisemitism in Europe. “Little did I know that it would get so bad in the United States,” she said.

The current rise in antisemitism, Pelosi said, is taking place with “acquiesce” from Trump. “He created a climate where this behavior is more acceptable.” 

Pelosi also attacked Trump over deploying the military on Monday to violently disperse a non-violent demonstration in front of the White House for a photo opportunity next to a church. “He didn’t go in, he just stood there holding a bible like I don’t know what,” Pelosi said.

Two weeks ago, former Vice President and presumptive 2020 Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden also said he opposes annexation, as part of his general opposition to “unilateral steps” that would “undercut the prospects for peace.”

Netanyahu is seeking to unilaterally annex settlements established in the West Bank since 1967, including the Jordan Valley. This week, he sought to reassure settler leaders that annexation would be promoted independently of Trump's Middle East plan. 

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