Home / News / As Netanyahu Seeks Re-election, the Future of the West Bank Is Now on the Ballot

As Netanyahu Seeks Re-election, the Future of the West Bank Is Now on the Ballot

Mr. Shapiro added: “And there’s no evident check coming from the Trump administration, as there always had been under every previous administration, saying, ‘Don’t do that.’”

In response to the rise of the sovereignty movement, two-state supporters have warned loudly of a domino effect that any annexation would set in motion, whether limited to a few big settlements, the Israeli-administered portion of the West Bank known as Area C, or the West Bank as a whole.

“It will be taken by the Palestinians, by the other Arabs and by the international community as an Israeli national decision to slam the door on a two-state solution, on a negotiated agreement,” said Nimrod Novik, a former senior adviser to Prime Minister Shimon Peres who sits on the executive committee of Commanders for Israel’s Security, a group of retired senior military and national security officials who support a two-state solution.

The toppling dominoes, the group predicts, would begin with a wave of West Bank violence, the refusal of Palestinian security officers to continue cooperating with Israel, the collapse of the Palestinian Authority and the necessary re-occupation of the entire West Bank by the Israeli military — an operation that would take weeks and require the entire standing army, more or less.

Even more serious, if Palestinians in annexed territory are not granted citizenship, it could pave the way for the kind of apartheid state that two-state supporters have long warned against.

Sovereignty proponents insist that annexation of settlement blocs like Maale Adumim or Gush Etzion would actually meet little international or Arab resistance because of the expectation that those areas would remain in Israel under a two-state outcome.

But Mr. Koplow said this was deceptive.

“Once you start down this annexation road, it’s not going to stop at the blocs,” he insisted. “And that’s where the real danger comes in.

“If the Israeli government annexes Maale Adumim, the sky isn’t going to fall. And when that happens, the next step is going to be the overreach. There’ll be a big push to annex Area C. And once you do that, that’s the whole ballgame.”