The letter, addressed to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, also said the annexation “would actively harm the prospects for a future in which all Israelis and Palestinians can live with full equality, human rights and dignity, and would lay the groundwork for Israel become an apartheid state, as its predecessor John Kerry warned in 2014. “
Ocasio-Cortez’s office said the trigger for conditioning aid includes settlements and other policies that are “laying the groundwork” for annexation.
AIPAC said on Twitter that “it opposes the letter circulating [Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez] – jointly signed by [Reps. Pramila Jayapal], [Rashida Tlaib] AND [Betty McCollum] – which explicitly threatens the relationship between the United States and Israel in a way that would harm American interests, risk Israel’s security and make a two-state solution less likely. ”
Progressives have been trying to increase support to condition aid to Israel if the nation advances with annexation. About 1,000 students in J Street’s student arm, J Street U, signed a separate statement urging the organization to “support legislation that would reduce US military assistance to Israel if it decided to unilaterally annex large parts of the West Bank.” Ocasio-Cortez’s office said groups like IfNotNow, the Arab American Institute, Jewish Voice for Peace Action and Demand Progress have supported his letter.
Joe Biden, the alleged Democratic presidential candidate, does not support conditional aid to Israel. AIPAC said in its statement that Ocasio-Cortez’s letter “rejects President Obama’s security assistance commitment to Israel” and that “Congress must continue to fully implement the Obama- @JoeBiden promise.”
Along with Ocasio-Cortez, Tlaib, McCollum and Jayapal, the letter was signed by representatives Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, Raul Grijalva, André Carson, Nydia Velázquez, Bobby Rush, Jesús “Chuy” García and Danny Davis, as well as Senator Bernie Sanders.