Sen. Feinstein: Annexation will mean ‘long-term costs’ to US-Israel relations

“America’s relationship with Israel is founded upon… the need for a negotiated two-state solution,” Feinstein said.

By Josh Plank, World Israel News

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) sent a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, urging him “not to proceed with unilateral annexations” in Judea and Samaria.

The letter, posted on Feinstein’s website Friday and sent to Netanyahu on May 6, was also delivered to Alternate Prime Minister Benjamin Gantz and Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer.

Feinstein began by congratulating the leaders on the formation of a unity government before turning to her “concern about the implications of Israel unilaterally annexing territory in the West Bank.”

“America’s relationship with Israel is founded upon a shared set of democratic values, including the need for a negotiated two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians,” she said.

Feinstein said she believes that such an agreement is “the only path toward an enduring resolution of the conflict that satisfies both the Palestinians’ inherent right to self-determination and Israel’s future as a secure, Jewish, and democratic state.”

“I fear that any steps taken by Israel to unilaterally annex land in the West Bank will result in long-term costs to Israel’s national security and diplomatic relationships. I urge you not to proceed with unilateral annexations, as such an effort to change the facts on the ground outside of a negotiation could ultimately make it impossible for Israel to secure a permanent and lasting peace agreement with the Palestinians,” she said.

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On June 6, 2019, Feinstein joined Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) to introduce a resolution expressing continued support for a two-state solution.

The resolution warned that “unilateral annexation of portions of the West Bank would jeopardize prospects for a two-state solution, harm Israel’s relationship with its Arab neighbors, threaten Israel’s Jewish and democratic identity, and undermine Israel’s security.”

Additionally, Feinstein has consistently opposed the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, which prohibits boycotts on allies of the U.S. It is designed to counter the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions (BDS) movement. Feinstein has joined those arguing that the act undermines Americans’ First Amendment rights.

Commenting on the bill in February 2019, she said, “Additionally, I’m deeply troubled by the fact the legislation would also apply to Israeli settlements in the West Bank, territory that Israel has never claimed as its own.”