106 Democrat Congressmen including 12 committee chairmen sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday calling on him to rescind the U.S. policy stating that it is legal for Jews to live in Judea and Samaria. The initiative for the letter was led by  Andy Levin, a freshman Jewish congressman (D-Michigan),  The signatures represent almost half of the 233 Democrats in the House of Representatives. Included in the signatures were those of  Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY), Rashida Tlaib (Mich), and Ilhan Omar  (Minn). 

Pompeo made the announcement concerning Judea and Samaria last Monday, returning U.S. policy to its original form. From 1967 until 1978, the U.S. policy was consistent with U.N. Resolution 242 which stated that the fate of some of the land conquered in the 1967 Six-Day War that had been previously illegally occupied by Jordan would be determined by bilateral negotiations. In 1978, President Jimmy Carter changed U.S. policy, publicly characterizing the Jewish settlements as illegal. In 1981,  Ronald Reagan announced that he didn’t believe that Israeli settlements in the West Bank were illegal. Despite this policy, the United States has never voted in favor of any UN Resolution calling the settlements illegal except for Resolution 465 in 1980, and in that case, the Carter administration subsequently announced that the vote had been cast in error. This was U.S. policy until the final days of the Obama administration when he allowed the UN Security Council to pass a resolution declaring the settlements a “flagrant violation” of international law.

The letter claimed that the revised State Department position “discredited the United States as an honest broker between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, severely damaged prospects for peace, and endangered the security of America, Israel, and the Palestinian people.” By rejecting the racist policy that calls for ethnically cleansing the Jews from their Biblical homeland in order to create the first Palestinian State in history, the Democratic congressmen claimed the current administration “has undermined America’s moral standing.”

The allegedly Jewish anti-Israel group, J Street, came out in support of the letter.

“The administration’s decision to effectively legitimize illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank is designed to obstruct the two-state solution and could pave the way for unilateral Israeli annexation,” said J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami in a statement. “It’s extremely important that leading members of Congress are making clear that this decision undermines human rights, jeopardizes both US and Israeli interests and flouts international law.” 

Though the letter showed a disturbing level of audacity and disrespect, the former Israeli ambassador to the U.S., Michael Oren, saw it as a positive development for the White House and “couldn’t be better” for the Trump administration.

“I think Pompeo wanted this,” Oren said to The Jerusalem Post.

“Think as if you are a member of the Trump administration,” Oren said. “You need to win in four or five battleground states to win reelection, and those four or five states have a strong Evangelical, pro-Israel presence. You need to mobilize them, and show them that if they don’t vote for Trump, they are going to get the guys who wrote this letter.” 

Source: Israel in the News