Speaking Out

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she’s ‘very concerned’ about annexation

Perry Bindelglass

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) expressed concern on Thursday over the Israeli government’s plans to unilaterally annex portions of the West Bank as soon as next month. 

“Unilateral annexation puts the future [of peace] at risk and undermines our national security interest and decades of bipartisan policy,” Pelosi said during a Zoom call hosted by the Jewish Democratic Council of America.

Pelosi’s comments echo a draft version of a letter sent from 19 Democratic senators to top Israeli officials last month, which suggested that annexation would “undermine” the U.S.-Israel relationship. That line of text was replaced in the final version of the letter, which said that annexation “puts both Israel’s security and democracy at risk.”

Pelosi noted that the House is on record in its opposition to annexation, citing H.R. 326, a resolution that was introduced by Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-CA) and passed last December, reaffirming U.S. support for the two-state solution. 

“We always want [Israel] to be bipartisan,” Pelosi said. “We take great pride in President [Barack] Obama’s Memorandum of Understanding… that was signed in 2016 to help Israel defend itself in a variety of ways and we stand committed to that, but we’re very concerned about what we see happening in terms of annexation.” 

The Democratic leader added, “I’m not a big fan of the Palestinian leadership in terms of their capability to be good negotiating partners. I wish they could be better. But I think that everybody can be doing better in terms of [pursuing peace].”

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