Less Than Half of Israelis Support Annexation; Pompeo Pays Surprise Visit to Discuss Annexation, Iran, COVID-19

A May 10 poll showed that fewer than half of Israelis back Netanyahu’s plan to annex parts of the West Bank. Even fewer believe the government will actually do it. A little over 51 percent of Israeli Jews supported annexation, while only 8.8 percent of Israeli Arabs did. Reported by The Times of Israel.Read more…

Before his visit to Israel, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo indicated that he would share with Israeli leaders the U.S. view on how best to implement President Donald Trump’s peace plan, including the annexation of West Bank territory. Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more… Pompeo’s visit lasted only a about eight hours hours, with Pompeo and a small U.S. team meeting with Netanyahu and Gantz. The White House has been reserved about the need for the visit, saying only that Pompeo would discuss “US and Israeli efforts to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as regional security issues related to Iran’s malign influence.” The White House statement is somewhat at odds with Pompeo’s statements regarding the purpose of the visit. Reported by The Guardian. Read more… Speculation is that the real reason for the visit, and why it was so urgent that Pompeo had to travel to Israel on short notice, was to warn against proceeding with annexation plans too quickly. Reported by The New York Times. Read more… U.S. officials sought to dispel the notion that the purpose of the trip was to talk annexation, however. Pompeo met separately with Netanyahu and Gantz and also with incoming foreign minister Gabi Ashkenazi. Unnamed U.S. officials said that the main topics of discussion were China and Iran. Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more… However, while in Israel, Pompeo did call for “progress” on implementing Trump’s vision for Israeli-Palestinian peace. Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more… Pompeo, addressing his peace plan discussion with Netanyahu, also said that “There remains work yet to do, and we need to make progress on that.” Reported by Fox News. Read more…