106 House Democrats, Omar and Tlaib among them, slam Trump’s shift on settlements

Over 100 Democrats signed the letter criticizing the Trump administration’s decision, which was greeted positively by Israel’s right-wing and center-left.

By World Israel News Staff

One hundred and six Democrats from the House of Representatives sent a letter on Friday attacking the Trump administration’s shift in U.S. policy which declared that the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria were not illegal.

The letter was addressed to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Pompeo announced on Nov. 18 that a 1978 State Department legal opinion that found Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria were illegal was “inconsistent with international law.”

The decision was greeted positively by Israel’s right-wing and center-left.

Among the House letter’s signatories were Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.).

“The State Department’s unilateral reversal on the status of settlements, without any clear legal justification, therefore has offered a tacit endorsement of settlements, their expansion, and associated demolitions of Palestinian homes,” the letter said.

“The announcement… has discredited the United States as an honest broker between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, severely damaged prospects for peace, and endangered the security of America, Israel, and the Palestinian people,” it added.

Several democratic presidential contenders also attacked the decision.

The Hill reports that former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign said in a statement to Jewish Insider: “This decision harms the cause of diplomacy, takes us further away from the hope of a two-state solution, and will only further inflame tensions in the region. It’s not about peace or security. It is not about being pro-Israel. It is about undercutting Israel’s future in service of Trump’s personal politics.”

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Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) tweeted, “Another blatantly ideological attempt by the Trump administration to distract from its failures in the region. Not only do these settlements violate international law — they make peace harder to achieve.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) tweeted, “Israeli settlements in occupied territory are illegal. This is clear from international law and multiple United Nations resolutions. Once again, Mr. Trump is isolating the United States and undermining diplomacy by pandering to his extremist base.”