Ron Dermer: Act now on annexation lest Biden win

Democratic candidate Biden holds a 5 percent lead in the polls over Trump.

By Aaron Sull, World Israel News

Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer has been working to convince influential members close to President Donald Trump about Israel’s need to annex the Jordan Valley and parts of Judea and Samaria before the next presidential election, reports Israel’s Channel 13 News.

According to the report, Dermer is afraid Israel may lose its historic chance to annex its historic homeland if Trump falls to beat presumptive Democratic challenger Joe Biden in November’s presidential election.

In closed briefings in Washington, Dermer said “We must advance annexation now because we don’t know what will happen in the U.S. presidential elections. Biden could win,” according to three Israeli and American sources familiar with matter, cited by Channel 13.

“We have a window of opportunity and we need to use it,” Dermer said.

A CNN poll on Wednesday shows Biden holding a 51% to 46% lead over Trump in this year’s presidential race.

Axios reports Dermer is also concerned that some U.S. officials close to President Trump are having second thoughts about having given Israel the green light to annex.

During the new government’s commencement ceremony on Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said it is time to extend Israeli sovereignty to Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.

“The time has come to apply Israeli law to [settlements] and to write another brilliant chapter in the history of Zionism,” Netanyahu said.

“This step will not push away peace. This step will bring it closer. Because peace can be based only on the truth. And we all know that hundreds of thousands of settlers in Judea and Samaria, our brothers and sisters, will forever stay in their places as part of any permanent peace settlement.”

However, despite Defense Minister Benny Gantz’s agreement to an annexation clause in the coalition agreement with Netanyahu, the alternate prime minister is voicing his misgivings about it.

Channel 13 reported Monday that Gantz and Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi expressed concern about annexation in a meeting last week with visiting Secretary of State Mike Pompeo because it might jeopardize a future peace agreement with the Palestinians.