Responding to the news that Israel plans to sign an agreement with the UAE that would temporarily “suspend” the Israeli government’s plans to annex parts of the West Bank, NIF CEO Daniel Sokatch released the following statement:
Israelis can and should welcome normalizing relations with the United Arab Emirates. Peace agreements are always to be celebrated. This deal shows us that there can be no peace with annexation.
But while we celebrate, we must acknowledge that this agreement fails to resolve the moral and political choice that Israelis — and all those who support a democratic Israel — still must make: end the occupation and build a future for an Israel that is just, free, and democratic, or continue to maintain an unjust, dual legal system where Palestinians are both separate and unequal.
With this agreement, Prime Minister Netanyahu is attempting to sidestep this choice. But those of us who care about a democratic future for both Israelis and Palestinians know that no deal between Israel and the UAE can obscure this choice and no Israeli government will escape it. The New Israel Fund, its supporters around the world, and a growing number of colleagues, partners, and grantees are committed to fighting for a better future for all. Equality matters. Palestinians matter.