John L. Rosove

Annexation will doom the Israeli-Jordanian Peace Agreement

According to leaders of the Israel Policy Forum (IPF), a Washington, D.C. think tank (its mission is “to shape the discourse and mobilize support among American Jewish leaders and U.S. policymakers for the realization of a viable two-state solution”) discussions with Jordan’s King Abdullah revealed that if Israel annexes unilaterally parts of the occupied West Bank, the Jordanian Palestinian “street” (70% of Jordanian citizens claim Palestinian heritage) would strongly protest. The King told the IPF that he would have no choice but to withdraw from the 1994 Jordanian-Israeli peace treaty.

The treaty provides a strategic and geographical buffer between Israel and Iraq. Jordan separates the two countries (899 kilometers – 560 miles). If that buffer were to dissipate in the collapse of the Israeli-Jordanian peace agreement, Iraq likely would become the eastern border of Israel and thereby pose a new and significant security threat to Israel.

The Trump Administration’s support of PM Netanyahu’s promise to annex part of the West Bank violates the 4th Geneva Convention (Article 49) that prohibits “the Occupying Power … [from] deport[ing] or transfer[ing] parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies,” a provision supported by the international community.

The only true way Israel can secure its borders over the long-term is by entering into good-faith negotiations with Palestinian leadership leading to two states for two peoples.

The IPF analyzed all the viable options using specific criteria for a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (e.g. Two-State Solution, Continuation of the Status Quo, Israeli-Palestinian Confederation, One Democratic State, One Jewish State, Jordanian Option, and the Trump Plan). Only one of the seven options gains the most support from the Israeli public, the Israeli government, the Palestinian public, the Palestinian Authority, Jordan, Egypt, the Arab world, the United States, Russia, China, the EU, and international organizations  – namely, the Two-State Solution.

The successful fulfillment of the Two-State Solution depends, of course, on the strength, courage, and wisdom of both Israeli and Palestinian leadership, their willingness to compromise on their respective maximalist demands, and an impartial mediator in the United States in conjunction with the EU and other international organizations. Every option carries risk, including the Two-State Solution, but according to the IPF study, the Two-State Solution carries the least risk and is the only solution that maintains Israel as a Jewish and democratic state and satisfies the justice of Palestinian national aspirations.

People of good will in Israel, the United States, and around the world ought to strongly protest PM Netanyahu’s annexation plans and President Trump’s support of those plans.

The House of Representatives passed last year HR 326 that “expresses the sense of the House … that only a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can ensure Israel’s survival as a secure Jewish and democratic state and fulfill the legitimate aspirations for a Palestinian state. It also expresses the sense that any U.S. proposal to achieve a just, stable, and lasting solution should expressly endorse a two-state solution and discourage steps that would put a peaceful resolution further out of reach.”

The Trump Administration’s unwise and illegal support of Israeli annexation violates not only the Geneva Convention but the will of the United States Congress.

To read the full analysis prepared by the Israel Policy Forum – “In Search of a Viable Option – Evaluating Outcomes to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict – a Report by Dr. Shira Efron and Evan Gottesman, with a foreword by Ambassador Daniel B. Shapiro” see

About the Author
John L. Rosove is Senior Rabbi Emeritus of Temple Israel of Hollywood in Los Angeles. He is a national co-Chair of the Rabbinic and Cantorial Cabinet of J Street and immediate past National Chairman of the Association of Reform Zionists of America (ARZA). He serves as a member of the newly created Union for Reform Judaism's Israel and Reform Zionism Committee (IRZC). John was the 2002 Recipient of the World Union for Progressive Judaism International Humanitarian Award and has received special commendation from the State of Israel Bonds. In 2013 he was honored by J Street at its Fifth Anniversary Celebration in Los Angeles. John is the author of two books - “Why Judaism Matters – Letters of a Liberal Rabbi to his Children and the Millennial Generation with an Afterword by Daniel and David Rosove” (Nashville: Jewish Lights Publishing, a division of Turner Publishing Company, 2017) and "Why Israel [and its Future] Matters - Letters of a Liberal Rabbi to his Children and the Millennial Generation with an Afterword by Daniel and David Rosove" (New Jersey: Ben Yehuda Press, 2019). Both are available at John translated and edited the Hebrew biography of his Great Granduncle – "Avraham Shapira – Veteran of the Haganah and Hebrew Guard" by Getzel Kressel (publ. by the Municipality of Petach Tikvah, 1955). The translation was privately published (2021). John is married to Barbara. They are the parents of two sons - Daniel (married to Marina) and David. He has two grandchildren.