What is Driving Annexation Now?

  • Area C annexation became a mainstream idea in Israeli politics fairly recently, from just before the Trump administration.  Many Israelis oppose, as do Palestinians.  Enter Trump.
  • President Trump appointed his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to build a Plan with David Friedman (who became U.S. Ambassador to Israel) and Jason Greenblatt.
  • While they were working on the plan with PM Netanyahu’s Israeli government, the Trump administration set about removing other longstanding aspects from U.S. peace process policy.  They closed the Palestinians’ diplomatic office in the U.S., withheld first some and then all humanitarian and economic assistance to Palestinians, ended U.S. support for UNRWA that provides schooling and food to Palestinian refugees in the West Bank, Gaza and across the Middle East, recognized Israeli annexations of the Golan Heights and East Jerusalem, and moved the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.   
  • These moves pleased many Israelis as taking their side against Palestinians.  Then President Trump’s “peace” plan – – the economic part released in June 2019 and the political part in January 2020 – – fit Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Area C annexation ideas, and he and Israeli opposition leader Gantz endorsed Trump’s plan before Israel’s March 2 election.
  • That Israeli election essentially ended in a draw, and Gantz decided to join Netanyahu in a coalition government.  Their coalition agreement calls for Annexation to be presented to the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, as early as July 1.
  •  As part of the Trump plan, in February 2020 the U.S. government formed a joint commission with Israel to map out what parts of Area C are to be immediately annexed by Israel.  Palestinians have no say, indeed ordinary Israelis have no say in the matter.