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We say no to the project of annexation of parts of the West Bank

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Le Monde publishes in its June 19 edition an op-ed against the annexation of part of the West Bank, signed by Dany Cohn-Bendit, Alain Finkielkraut, Bernard-Henri Levy, Dominique Moisi, Pierre Nora, Diana Pinto, Anne Sinclair et Benjamin Stora….

We wish to express our concern about the Israeli government’s project to carry out the annexation of some parts of the West Bank, starting on July 1st. Such a project would undermine the rights of the Palestinian people and would at the same time deface the Zionist project aiming to the establishment of a Jewish and Democratic State.

A unilateral annexation would be a violation of the international law and would be in breach of all the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, namely the resolution 2334 of December 23d, 2016. If it were to be implemented, the unilateral annexation would imply the end of the Two State Solution and would destroy all hope of achieving self-determination by non violent means. It is unavailing to believe that the facts on the ground prevail over international law for ever.

A petition signed by almost 300 former senior army, Mossad and police officers, all members of the NGO Commanders of Israel’s Security, emphasizes that annexation will trigger a chain reaction over which Israel will have no control at all, leading to the collapse of the Palestinian Authority. It would in turn compel Israel to take full control of all the West Bank and to assume direct responsibility of the existence of 2,6 million Palestinians.

As regards Jordan, where many Palestinian refugees live, annexation could destabilise the government and would force it to reconsider its peace treaty with Israel. The peace treaty with Egypt would be equally jeopardized.

Benyamin Netanyahu announced that Israel did not intend to give to Palestinians residing in annexed territories the same civic and political rights as those granted to Israeli citizens. Such a refusal would be completely inconsistent with the current democratic system inside the State of Israel.

The annexation, if it were to materialize, would seriously endanger the relationships Israel maintains with democracies in the whole world and would run the risk of generating a wave of delegitimation of the State of Israel. It would drive a wedge between Israel and most Diaspora Jews, who are attached to the principles of human rights and of democracy.

Within the framework of the international mobilization launched by J-Link, a network created by more than 50 Jewish progressive organizations in the world, relayed by La Paix Maintenant and JCall, we call all the people who share our concern for the future of Israel in peace with its neighbours to act as fast as possible, so that Israel’s government gives up that project of annexation. A certain idea of Israel, of democracy and of judaism are at stake.

Daniel Cohn-Bendit, former European deputee

Alain Finkelkraut, philosopher, member of l’Académie française

Bernard Henri-Lévy, philosopher, essayist

Dominique Moïsi, geopolitologist, special advisor of IFRI (French Institute of International Affairs).

Pierre Nora, historian, member  of l’Académie française

Diana Pinto, historian, consultant for the Council of Europe

Alain Rozenkier, chairman of  La Paix Maintenant

Anne Sinclair, journalist, writer

Benjamin Stora, historian, former chairman of the Advisory Committee of the National City of the History of Immigration

Meïr Waintrater, chairman of JCall France

Le Monde

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