December 06, 2019

Don’t Believe Netanyahu. Israel Doesn’t Need The Jordan Valley. Here’s Why.

By Ilan Goldenberg

This week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, concurrent with rising speculations that the Trump administration may support Israeli annexation of the Jordan River Valley.

Netanyahu’s latest focus on annexing the valley is a transparent political ploy to stay in power and pressure Gantz to accept a unity government. In the process, he is building political support for the argument that Israel must annex the Jordan River Valley because of security concerns.

It would be a huge mistake for Israel to go down this path and for the United States to support it. Annexing this territory, which makes up 22.3% of the West Bank, would amount to Israeli territory entirely enveloping any future Palestinian state, making it non-viable. Annexing the Jordan Valley would also take away some of the most economically valuable land which is widely regarded as necessary to build a future state of Palestine.

But even more importantly, the strategic logic behind holding onto the valley, which was developed in the years after 1967, no longer holds: Today, Israel can remain entirely secure while allowing the valley to become part of a future Palestinian state.

Read the full article in Forward.

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