Controversy Raging over Planned ‘Annexation’

The controversy over Israel’s plan to extend its sovereignty over Jewish settlements and parts of the Jordan valley is raging this week. Almost 50 people from the United Nations, described as ‘human rights experts’, have condemned Israel’s plan to annex parts of the disputed territory, widely known as ‘The West Bank’, claiming that the plan is a “vision of a 21st Century apartheid.”

Last week Russia joined the set of countries warning Israel not to go ahead with the plan; their ambassador to Israel saying:

“We believe that the realization of intentions to apply Israeli sovereignty to parts of the West Bank
would be a very dangerous development … and provoke a new round of violence.”

And today, a new poll is reported to show that most Canadians want their government to oppose Israel’s plan, at a time when Canada is bidding for a seat on the United Nations Security Council. The poll indicated that three out of four Canadians want their government to express opposition to Israel’s plan, while 42 percent are in favour of economic or diplomatic sanctions against Israel.

But few people seem to be aware of the facts of the situation. There are many claims that Israel gained control over the territory by armed aggression. But a review of events that led to the change of control in 1967 shows those claims to be false.

And a senior United Arab Emirates official indicated that his country’s opposition to the annexation plan should not hinder his country’s efforts to build a stronger relationship with Israel, saying:

“Can I have a political disagreement with Israel but at the same time try and bridge other
areas of the relationship? I think I can. I think that is fundamentally where we are.”