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The Trump Administration’s Unprecedented Statement – Legality of the Settlements

On Monday, November 18th, 2019, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the United States no longer views Israel’s settlements as illegal. In this shocking and historic announcement, Pompeo went on to say that “after carefully studying all sides of the legal debate, the establishment of Israeli civilian settlements in the West Bank is not per se inconsistent with international law.” He stated that “calling the establishment of civilian settlements inconsistent with international law has not advanced the cause of peace.”

To call this move by the Trump Administration unprecedented would be an understatement. I would almost venture to say that this announcement is bigger than the United States’ recognition of Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. Israel has maintained control of the Golan Heights since 1967, and even though some nations opposed their sovereignty there, the U.S. never seriously asked Israel to consider giving up the territory. The U.S. voted to move their embassy to Jerusalem in 1996 – it just took 21 years for a president to. . .

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