British Jews have helped launch a global Jewish coalition to protest the proposed Israeli annexation of large chunks of the West Bank from next month.
Jewish groups from the UK joined peers from the US, Europe, South Africa and Australia in calling on lawmakers and leaders to “take urgent action to prevent annexation” of the major settlements and the Jordan Valley.
The coalition includes London-based Zionist organisation Yachad and the American group J-Street, both of which oppose settlement building and advocate a two-state solution. It does not include the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the main representative body in the UK, which has refused to criticise annexation plans.
This week the coalition voiced its shared concern for Israel’s democratic future and for the human rights of Palestinians if it goes ahead and declares sovereignty over vast areas recognised as Palestinian land by the international community.
The new Israeli government has said it could begin annexing territory from 1 July, a move that critics say “would prevent the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel”.
Yachad director Hannah Weisfeld said: “We are pleased to join Jews from around the world in the fight against annexation. Beyond the devastating implications annexation will have on Israelis and Palestinians, this dangerous move risks tearing apart diaspora Jewish communities who care deeply for Israel and its future.
“World leaders should know that a growing number of Jews will not remain silent in the face of annexation and urge them to take actions to support peace and justice.”