November 18, 2019

Udall Responds to Secretary Pompeo’s Abandonment of Decades of Bipartisan U.S. Policy on West Bank Settlements

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.), senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement in response to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s announcement that the United States is changing its policy to recognize Israeli settlements in the West Bank:

“I have been saddened and alarmed by the recent escalation of violence in Gaza and Israel. Instead of working to reduce violence between Israelis and Palestinians, Secretary Pompeo’s announcement today casts aside decades of bipartisan American foreign policy at a time when we should be working to lower dangerously high tensions in a volatile region, not adding more fuel to the fire. The United States government—as well as the global community—has long regarded Israeli settlements as illegal under international law, and as such these settlements have long been regarded by experts as a major roadblock to a peace deal and the two-state solution. In light of this president’s reckless decision to once again abandon longstanding foreign policy, Congress should reaffirm support for a settlement freeze in order to preserve any hope of a peace deal. Negotiation—not unilateral action—remains central to Israel’s long-term security and the viability of any future state for the Palestinian people.”