J Street welcomes a vital letter sent by 106 members of Congress to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo today stating “strong disagreement with the State Department’s decision to reverse decades of bipartisan US policy on Israeli settlements” which had declared them “inconsistent with international law.”
The signers, led by Congressman Andy Levin (D-MI), include twelve committee chairs and the chairs of the Asian Pacific American, Black, Hispanic and Progressive caucuses. They warn that the administration’s decision “has severely damaged prospects for peace” and that it “blatantly disregards Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention” regarding the rules governing the actions of an occupying power.
J Street strongly supports the leadership shown by these representatives, who are standing up to defend principled, diplomacy-first American global leadership and to push back against the Trump administration’s efforts to undermine international law, US interests, Israel’s future and Palestinian rights.
“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. “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.”
The letter follows widespread initial condemnation of the decision by foreign policy experts, Jewish community leaders, members of Congress and Democratic presidential candidates including Vice President Biden, Mayor Buttigieg, Secretary Castro, Senator Klobuchar, Senator Sanders and Senator Warren.
We've rounded up statements from members of Congress and presidential candidates opposing the administration's decision to weaken the US position on settlements.