How Israel's Annexation Strategy Will Prompt a Partnership Pivot

Mar 9, 2020 | 10:00 GMT

This picture taken on Feb. 22, 2020, shows the Palestinian West Bank village of Azmut, east of Nablus, with the Israeli settlement of Elon Moreh in the background.

In this Feb. 22, 2020, photo, the West Bank Israeli settlement of Elon Moreh can be seen on the slopes behind the Palestinian village of Azmut.

(JAAFAR ASHTIYEH/AFP via Getty Images)


  • Over the next decade, Israel will likely annex large parts of the West Bank, leaving the Palestinians without a viable option for an independent state.
  • Liberal and left-leaning parties in the United States and Europe will push back against Israel's annexation strategy as they eventually come to power through electoral turnover.
  • To offset the potential impact, Israel will build out relations with countries that are less likely to experience cyclical political change, like Russia, China, India and the Gulf Arab states, while at the same time building up ties to centrist and right-wing governments worldwide.

Over the next decade, Israel will pivot away from its close, pro-Western footing to a more independent one as its traditional allies pressure it to change its West Bank strategy. By the end of the 2020s, right-wing politics will gain the upper hand in Israel, expanding its annexationist trend in the Palestinian territories. But a territorially expanded Israel will not always find supportive allies in the United States and Europe, and its Western allies are likely to pressure Israel to reverse its West Bank strategy....

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