Nonviolence International Statement on Annexation

Palestinians in Gaza City demonstrated Wednesday against Israeli plans to annex parts of the West Bank.
Palestinians in Gaza City demonstrated against Israeli plans to annex parts of the West Bank. (photo: Mohammed Saber / EPA, via Shutterstock)
A pledge to relentlessly push for equal rights and dignity and a call for the world to say no to oppression and injustice.

By Mubarak Awad, Jonathan Kuttab, Mohammed Abu-Nimer, and Peter Weinberger | Nonviolence International | July 2, 2020

‘For the rest of the world, the annexation, large or small is a wakeup call to recognize the illegal actions of Israel in the occupied territories and the need to take active, not just verbal steps to address it. Israeli impunity only encourages further illegalities.’
—Mohammed Abu-Nimer, NVI Board Member

Unilateral annexation of portions of the West Bank by Israel is a path of oppression and injustice. The whole world must say no.

There are two major arguments against annexation from the Jordan Valley or near Jerusalem:

The first is that it basically violates the bedrock of international law, which holds that you cannot annex territory that comes into your possession as a result of war.  After WWII, with the creation of the United Nations, 75 years ago, the international community cannot tolerate “border adjustments” taken unilaterally no matter what the justification.  There are 194 countries in the world, and most of them have historical, tribal, economic, or security interests in taking portions of land from their neighbours.  If that is allowed, there would be chaos in the international community.  That is why the few attempts made (Turkey in Cyprus, Morocco in Western Sahara, Iraq in Kuwait, and Russia in Georgia, and Ukraine; and now Israel in Jerusalem, the Golan and the West Bank) have been roundly condemned.  It is unfortunate that the current US administration is so contemptuous of international law and the international community that it would allow such an outrage.

Secondly, many people oppose annexation, because it undermines any possibility of a two-state solution along the lines of UN Resolution 242, and 338, and the principle of land for peace that many people hoped would be a reasonable pragmatic solution to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Those who still hold on to this idea are among the most active opponents of the Annexation scheme, which they see as eliminating the possibilities of a globally supported peaceful solution, and ensuring continued conflict and war, just as in the past each additional act of settlement and land confiscation had been wrong. It is illegal and it undermines both international law and the prospect of peace.

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