Netanyahu rivals, left-wing groups blast Jordan Valley annexation pledge

Yair Lapid, Naftali Bennett, J-Street, and IfNotNow lined up to bash the prime minister’s promise to extend Israeli sovereignty to the Jordan Valley.

By World Israel News Staff

Following Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s announcement on Tuesday of his intention to immediately extend Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley if he succeeds in next week’s elections, Blue and White’s Yair Lapid posted a video to social media slamming the move.

Addressing Netanyahu in a Facebook video, Lapid said, “You have been prime minister for 13 years, and if you wanted to annex the Jordan Valley or extend Israel’s borders, who stopped you?”

“It’s an election stunt,” Lapid added, “and its not impressive.”

“[Netanyahu] doesn’t want to annex the Jordan Valley, he wants to ‘annex’ votes from Ayelet Shaked,” Lapid claimed, referring to the former justice minister whose Yamina party Netanyahu will need to align with if he is able to form a coalition following the next round of elections.

Shortly after Netanyahu’s announcement, former prime minister and current head of Israel’s Democratic party, Ehud Barak, posted a video to Twitter taking aim at Netanyahu.

Barak accused the prime minister of making the announcement regarding extending Israeli sovereignty to the Jordan Valley to further his own political goals, not the best interest of the nation.

The right-wing Yamina party’s Naftali Bennett also dismissed Netanyahu’s annexation pledge as nothing more than “words.”

In a statement released to the press, Bennett said, “I welcome Netanyahu’s string of promises, but these are just words. You can implement them immediately. I call on the prime minister to pass the ‘Jordan Valley Law’ by tomorrow in three readings, instead of the cameras law,” Times of Israel reported.

In the statement, Bennett listed several other campaign promises he claimed Netanyahu had failed to fulfill, including vows to build in Judea and Samaria near Ma’ale Adumim, promises to institute the death penalty for terrorists, and pledges to destroy Hamas, all of which Bennett accused Netanyahu of failing to make good on.

Meanwhile, left-wing American lobbying group J-Street issued a statement calling for a response to “this unprecedented threat.”

Specifically, J-street said, “House leadership must immediately bring to the floor a vote on House Resolution 326, which clearly opposes annexation and affirms US support for the two-state solution — and already has the support of over 180 Members of Congress. . . . They must make clear that annexation . . . will lead to major consequences for the future of the U.S.-Israel relationship.”

Following Netanyahu’s announcement, the anti-Israel IfNotNow group tweeted, “This is Netanyahu taking the next step towards endless Occupation, and doing so because he believes it’ll help him win reelection. If American Jewish institutions have any moral courage, they’ll vehemently oppose annexation and work to end the occupation.”