100-plus Democrats sign letter criticizing new US stance on Israeli settlements

November 27, 2019 by JNS
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More than 100 Democrats signed a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last week criticizing the Trump administration’s decision to stop considering Israeli settlements a violation of international law.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike participate in a press conference in Hanoi, Vietnam, on Feb. 28, 2019. Credit: State Department Photo by Ron Przysucha.

The letter, which was authored by Rep. Andy Levin (D-Mich.) and signed by 107 Democrats, expressed “strong disagreement” with the State Department’s new policy and urged Pompeo to “reverse this policy decision immediately.”

“In ignoring international law, this administration has undermined America’s moral standing and sent a dangerous message to those who do not share our values: human rights and international law, which have governed the international order and protected U.S. troops and civilians since 1949, no longer apply,” the letter read.

Of the 23 Jewish Democrats in the House, only seven so far have signed on to the letter.

Last week, Pompeo announced a reversal of the 1978 State Department legal opinion, known as the Hansell Memorandum, that such neighborhoods are “inconsistent with international law.”

“Calling the establishment of civilian settlements inconsistent with international law has not advanced the cause of peace,” said Pompeo. “The hard truth is that there will never be a judicial resolution to the conflict, and arguments about who is right and who is wrong as a matter of international law will not bring peace.”


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