After months of investigating the international law regarding Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, aka the West Bank, the Trump administration has concluded that Jewish settlements in Judea & Samaria do not go against international law.
Pompeo: “It is indeed better late than never. Settlement in Judea and Samaria does not contradict international law and it is good that the world’s great power is telling the truth and correcting a long-standing injustice.”
This decision by the Trump administration reverses the 1978 legal opinion of the State Department that stated that Israeli settlements are illegal.
A triumph of truth and a victory for the historical, legal fact
After taking a full year to conduct an impartial study of international law as it applies to Israel’s rights in Judea and Samaria, the US government has reversed years of falsehood and anti- Israel bias:
In an historic reversal of US policy, the Trump administration announced on Monday that it does not view Israeli settlements in the West Bank as illegal.
Regavim’s Adam v’Adamah Center for Zionism, Law, and Society has been a major force in creating this historic breakthrough. The legal experts convened by the Adam v’Adamah Center have presented the facts, analyzed the law, and argued for Israel’s rights throughout the Land of Israel for years.
We congratulate President Trump, Ambassador Friedman, and Secretary of State Pompeo for this courageous, impartial, and long-overdue policy announcement.
PM Netanyahu Says Thank You
Statement from the Prime Minister’s Office
(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)
Today, the United States adopted an important policy that rights a historical wrong when the Trump administration clearly rejected the false claim that Israeli settlements in Judea and Samaria are inherently illegal under international law.
This policy reflects an historical truth – that the Jewish people are not foreign colonialists in Judea and Samaria. In fact, we are called Jews because we are the people of Judea.
The Trump Administration policy is also correct in stating that those who have categorically denied any legal basis for the settlements not only deny truth, history and the reality on the ground, they also set back the cause of peace, which can only be achieved through direct negotiations between the parties.
Israel’s legal system, which has proven itself fully capable of addressing legal questions related to the settlements, is the appropriate place for these matters to be adjudicated – not biased international forums that pay no attention to history or facts.
Israel remains ready and willing to conduct peace negotiations with the Palestinians regarding all final status issues in an effort to achieve a durable peace but will continue to reject all arguments regarding the illegality of the settlements.
Israel is deeply grateful to President Trump, Secretary Pompeo and the entire US administration for their steadfast position supporting truth and justice, and calls upon all responsible countries who hope to advance peace to adopt a similar position.
Israeli Officials Respond
Former Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked praised the Trump Administration’s move as “an important and significant decision.”
The former justice minister added, “It is indeed better late than never. Settlement in Judea and Samaria does not contradict international law and it is good that the world’s great power is telling the truth and correcting a long-standing injustice.”
Transportation Minister Bezalel Smotrich tweeted that “This is certainly a worthy answer to the European Court’s hypocritical decision from last week. We are advancing in international recognition of the settlement enterprise.”
The Yesha Council of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria welcomed the anticipated US declaration, saying, “For more than 50 years we have been claiming that the State of Israel has a historical and legal right to the area, and it is time that the entire world know and understand that it is ours.”
A council statement continued, “This is a dramatic decision, and we welcome all those engaged in the work. Now it’s clear to everyone – Judea, Samaria and the Jordan Valley are an integral part of the State of Israel. Following the American recognition, we must move to the next stage – applying sovereignty to Israeli settlements in Judea and Samaria.”