Washington’s axis - Jerusalem:
the West Bank issue
dividing Israel.

Sara Simon
Current events

The pandemic emergency linked to the spread of the coronavirus has distracted public opinion from fundamental international dynamics linked to the Middle East whose strategic importance will eventually influence international politics much more than the virus itself. It is therefore appropriate to bring media attention to the Middle East issue as well.
According to the words of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the international community was waiting for Israel’s invasion of West Bank in early July. In fact, Netanyahu had promised that the Israeli army would mobilise to annex a part of West Bank, a territory that the international community believes to be owned by the future Palestinian State. However, Israeli settlers have gradually occupied those territories with the complicity of governments, making these areas real urban centres. bani.

These places are in fact living in a hybrid situation, they are formally Palestinian areas, but inhabited by Israeli citizens. Suffice to say that there are about half a million Israelis in West Bank, including police and army forces whose presence is justified because of the danger of Palestinian reprisals.
The official annexation on behalf of these territories seems to be present in the government contract established by the two forces at the head of the country, namely Likud, (the right-wing liberal nationalist party of Netanyahu) and the blue and white centrist party led by former military leader Benny Gantz. Even though this government plan has never been widespread, it is very similar, according to the information gathered by journalists, to the compromise proposed by Trump’s administration. This proposal accepted the demands that the religious nationalist right-wing had been making for some time and provided for Israel to formally annex the illegally built colonies in the so-called Area C, i.e. the area of West Bank that the Oslo agreements assigned to the future Palestinian state – as well as the Jordan Valley.

On the one hand, Israel exists thanks to the support and recognition of the United States; while the latter looks to Israel as the last Christian outpost at the gates of the East


When we speak of the State of Israel it is impossible to exclude the role played by USA from political planning. It is intrinsically linked to the country’s politics and is a leading player in orienting the choices made by its leaders. The Israeli State and the USA have been living for years in a symbiotic relationship dictated by reasons of necessity: on the one hand, Israel exists thanks to the support and recognition of the United States; while the latter looks to Israel as the last Christian outpost at the gates of the East, which we know to be the seat of Islamic forces and of all this. Contemporary history has educated us to perceive it as a threat to Western civilisation, thus becoming a fundamental pawn on the international chessboard.
At first, it seemed that Donald Trump had given his placet to the annexation for several reasons. First of all, the fact that the US administration gave important support to the Israeli government even in spite of the peace negotiations that had been laboriously conducted by previous administrations until now. Secondly, the Palestinian leadership appears to be incredibly fragmented, which could affect the possibility of both organizing a resistance and provoking an international reaction. All this in a historical period in which the coronavirus and other world incidences have distracted our attention from an issue that is now a tedious public opinion and helped to contain international condemnation.
Despite the fact that the situation appeared to be extremely favourable for the annexation of West Bank territories, events did not develop as expected, and the reasons once again seem to be not only within the Israeli leadership mechanisms but rather in Israel’s relationship with Washington. In fact, it should not be forgotten that while Netanyahu holds the position of Prime Minister of Israel until the end of next year – when replaced by his ally Gantz – the same cannot be said for the American President. It is not certain that there will not be a reversal of power in the White House. If the latter scenario were to occur, it could be Joe Biden, known to have criticized Israel’s annexation plan, and this could degrade the Israeli government’s relationship with the newly installed US government.  
Furthermore, as already mentioned, the Israeli unitary emergency government, which gained the trust of the knesset on the 17th of May, is based on a very delicate coalition between Gantz and Netanyahu. A coalition that brings together different electorates being the first expression of a much more moderate base than the religious right of Netanyahu. Confirming what has just been said, the simplistic Western view that sees a single monolithic Israeli soul determined to invade Palestine should be reduced in the light of the latest polls that have shown how two thirds of the Israel’s population would oppose a unilateral military annexation. It is also widely believed that the annexation would not only be followed by popular uprisings in the Arab cities of West Bank and Gaza Strip comparable to the Second Intifada of the early 2000s; but would also prove to be detrimental to Israel’s hard-won diplomatic relations with Egypt and Jordan; since these are Arab-majority neighbouring countries, they would be forced to take a stand by suspending their collaboration with Israel and thus undermining protection around its territory.
To date the annexation seems to be only postponed and the forecasts are uncertain, but it is evident the delicacy of the issue linked to this process of modification of the borders which can, as previously mentioned, influence the geopolitical balances of one of the areas with the highest index of instability on the planet.

[1] “Perché Israele non ha ancora invaso la Cigiordania?”, Breaking Italy, reperibile al sito

[2] Articolo accademico dell’Università Ebrea di Gerusalemme, team di ricerca: Prof. Iran Halperin, Dr. Yossi Hasson, Lee Eldar e Inbal Sifris, reperibile al sito

[3] Perché Israele non ha invaso la Cisgiordania, in Il Post, reperibile al sito