According to an op-ed written by Arsen Ostrovsky and Richard Kemp for The Algemeiner, words are of great importance. They matter, drive narratives, influence policies, and shape people’s perceptions.
A current debate concerning whether Israel’s proposed actions in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) which is in alignment with President Donald Trump’s “peace to prosperity” plan — amount to “annexation” or the “application of sovereignty,” is a perfect example. Many in the media in the international community (NGO world), foreign press, including some in the Jewish community, have referred to this as “annexation.”
The reason is partly out of naivetè and a lack of understanding around what the term “annexation” really means. There are some, however, who understand the distinction — and its implications — quite well. They are using it to create a dangerous perception: that Israel has no entitlement to Judea and Samaria, and therefore would be committing some illegal act under international law.
Annexation means one state imposing legal authority over the territory of another state acquired by force or aggression, typically during war.
In the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, annexation is defined as, “by the use of force of the territory of another State of part thereof” as “constituting the grave Crime of Aggression.”