‘Judea, Samaria’ may officially be used by US gov, thanks to GOP congresswoman

‘Judea, Samaria’ may officially be used by US gov, thanks to GOP congresswoman

On  Thursday, Congresswoman Claudia Tenney (NY-24) introduced the Recognizing Judea and Samaria Act to require all official United States documents and materials to use the term “Judea and Samaria” instead of the “West Bank.”

Additional cosponsors of this legislation include Representatives Randy Weber (TX-14) and Anthony D’Esposito (NY-04). 

Tenney’s move follows a resolution passed at the recent National Religious Broadcasters convention calling for the participating media to refer to the region in central Israel solely as Judea and Samaria

The term Judea and Samaria dates back millennia to the ancient Kingdoms of Judah and Samaria. In 1967, after Israel’s Arab neighbors launched the Six-Day War, Israel reclaimed Judea and Samaria from Jordan. The term “West Bank” is used to delegitimize Israel’s historical claim to this land. In November 2019, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the United States would formally recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights and Judea and Samaria. 

“The Trump administration is reversing the Obama administration’s approach towards Israeli settlements.” Pompeo said about the move, adding, “The establishment of Israeli civilian settlements in the West Bank is not per se inconsistent with international law.”

Rabbi Tuly Weisz at Trump Heights in the Golan region of Israel Photo Breaking Israel News

Recently, Secretary of State Antony Blinken reversed this position, stating the Biden administration’s disappointment in Israel’s recent decision to expand its settlements in the region. 

“It’s been long-standing U.S. policy, under Republican and Democratic administrations alike, that new settlements are counterproductive to reaching an enduring peace,” Blinken, said. “They’re also inconsistent with international law.”

This condemnation comes in spite of the fact that under the Oslo Accords, a bilateral agreement between Israel and Palestinian representatives, Israel was granted full military and civilian control over the majority of Judea and Samaria.

John Kerry, President Obama’s Secretary of State, described Jews living in Judea and Samaria as “illegitamate” and the “obstacle to peace”. In 2016, Kerry declared, “there would be “no separate peace between Israel and the Arab world” without the creation of a Palestinian state in Israeli territory. 

Four years later, the Abraham Accords were signed, normalizing relations between Israel and four Arab nations with no provision for a Palestinians state.

“The Israeli people have an undeniable and indisputable historical and legal claim over Judea and Samaria, and at this critical moment in history, the United States must reaffirm this,” said Congresswoman Tenney. “The misguided decision by the Biden administration to revoke the Pompeo Doctrine undermines our greatest ally in the Middle East. The RECOGNIZING Judea and Samaria Act requires all U.S. legal documents to use the rightful term “Judea and Samaria” to refer to this territory instead of the “West Bank.” This bill reaffirms Israel’s rightful claim to its territory. I remain committed to defending the integrity of the Jewish state and fully supporting Israel’s sovereignty over Judea and Samaria.”

Tenney is a strong ally of Israel. Three days after the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas, she introduced the “Operation Swords of Iron” Iron Dome Supplemental Appropriations Act alongside Representatives Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), Max Miller (R-OH), and Brad Schneider (D-IL) to appropriate $2 billion for Israel’s Iron Dome defense system.

Iron Dome aerial interceptions of Hamas rockets in southern Israel. Credit: Oren Ravid/Shutterstock.

“Fifty years ago, the US was reluctant to support Israel during the Yom Kippur War. We cannot make the same mistake today,” she stated at the time.

Tenney is an outspoken supporter of former president Donald Trump. Last month, Rep. Tenney called on Attorney General Merrick Garland to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove President Joe Biden from office. This came after special counsel Robert Hur’s report on Biden’s said that while the president should not be prosecuted for mishandling classified documents because he was not mentally competent to stand trial.

“President Biden needs to be charged, or he needs to be removed. There is no middle ground,” Tenney wrote. 

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