Responding to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s announcement today of his specific plan to begin annexation if re-elected, Daniel Sokatch, CEO of the New Israel Fund, released the following statement:
“Prime Minister Netanyahu is pushing us all into a defining moment in history. There is a choice to be made between Israel’s Jewish character, its democracy, and its control over the Palestinian territories. We can choose two, but not all three. Netanyahu’s explicit plan to begin annexation has pushed the clock to midnight: that choice must be made now.
“If Netanyahu forces Israel to unilaterally and illegally annex Palestinian territories, abandon the 1967 borders, and blow up decades of stated Israeli, American, and internationally agreed-upon policy, the consequences will be clear: there will be no democratic Israel.
“Netanyahu would have the world believe that there are no costs to annexation. But we know that the costs are clear and steep, and they will be borne by Israeli and Palestinian people. After annexation, Israelis will no longer live in a democracy. Palestinian people in the West Bank will live with no representation, and no hope for self-determination, in a string of embattled Bantustans.
“Two paths lie before us: One will keep Palestinian people in the West Bank and Gaza locked in an intolerable reality without basic rights and freedoms and will destroy the dream of millions of Jewish people to achieve self-determination. The other path leads to self-determination for Jews and Palestinians in two democratic states with equality for all.
“The time has come for all who care about the people of Israel and Palestine to choose wisely. Israelis, and those who support Israeli democracy around the world, must stand firmly against annexation.”