Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government is about to make a hasty unilateral annexation of at least parts of the West Bank and the Jordan Valley, under the blessing of U.S. President Donald Trump. Details on the annexation’s scope, format, methodology, timeline, or rationale have not yet been disclosed to Israel’s security cabinet.
The annexation process led by Netanyahu is of negative character, devoid of any strategic consideration (except for messianic right-wing platforms), detrimental to the country’s security, disruptive to its Jewish-democratic nature, and bound to drag Israel into years of violence at great cost.
In contrast the government of Ehud Barak (in which one of us served as chief of staff and policy coordinator) in its 2000 unilateral withdrawal from Lebanon and Ariel Sharon’s government in its 2005 unilateral Gaza Strip disengagement, have both led to long-term favorable strategic changes for Israel. Neither were free of mistakes, but there is no doubt that in doing so they have also saved the lives of Israeli soldiers and civilians.
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