Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) affirms the announcement that Israel's Prime Minister has decided to suspend Israeli annexation in the West Bank in return for normalization of relations with the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Annexation is an atrocious idea, with terrible consequences for both Palestinians and Israelis. It would lock in the Occupation: reinforcing enduring oppression and violence and precluding equal human rights for all. Therefore, CMEP continues to call for the government of Israel to abandon altogether its plans for annexation.
Renouncing plans for annexation, including those endorsed by President Trump's “Vision for Peace,” would be even better. Best would be Israelis and Palestinians working together to end the Occupation, bringing security and justice to all.
CMEP’s Senior Director of Advocacy and Government Relations, Kyle Cristofalo says,"Suspending formal annexation of parts of the West Bank is not enough. In the face of continued creeping annexation and the violations of Palestinian human rights, the U.S. must clearly stand for justice and equality for all in Israel/Palestine.
"Of course, it would also be better if the U.S. government worked to support such negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians to end the Occupation. The “Vision for Peace” proposal does the opposite. CMEP calls upon President Trump and his administration to pursue U.S. policies that seek peace, negotiations, and justice between Israelis and Palestinians.
Those who seek a real and lasting peace for the region must continue to advocate for an end to the occupation, settlements, violence, and the ongoing violations of the rights of Palestinians,even if the threat of unilateral annexation is suspended.