World Israel News (WIN)
Most Israeli politicians came out in support of the U.S. decision that spurned the idea that Israeli settlements are illegal.
By World Israel News Staff
Israeli politicians from the right to the center-left praised the decision of the Trump administration on Monday to reject a State Department legal opinion from 1978 that found Israeli settlements in Judea and Samaria to be illegal.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was the first out of the gate to commend the decision, which was announced by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Netanyahu said, “Today, the United States adopted an important policy that rights a historical wrong when the Trump administration clearly rejected the false claim that Israeli settlements in Judea and Samaria are inherently ‘illegal’ under international law.”
Other Israeli politicians followed suit.
Blue and White leader Benny Gantz, who leads Israel’s opposition parties, said, “I bless the U.S. government on this important decision, which points again to its strong stand on the side of Israel and its obligation to the security and future of the Middle East in general.”
“The fate of the settlements and residents in Judea and Samaria needs to be set within agreements that stand up to the security demands and can advance peace. Agreements that will serve the two sides, and will reflect the reality in the area,” he said.
Likud MK Yariv Levin, who currently serves as Minister of Tourism, said “We’re talking about another historic step of the most friendly government that Israel has ever had. The recognition of the legality of the settlements is a meaningful milestone on the way toward Israeli sovereignty in all parts of Israel.”
Ayelet Shaked, co-head of the New Right party and a former justice minister, said “We’re talking about an important and meaningful decision. Therefore, better late than never. The settlements in Judea and Samaria don’t contradict international law, and it’s good that the greatest power in the world tells the truth and corrects this distortion of many years.”
Speaker of the Knesset and Likud MK Yuli Edelstein said, “The announcement of the American government is an outstanding Israeli victory against the scandalous ruling of the E.U. court that instructed that only products of Jews be identified.”
Edelstein referred to the fact that the U.S. announcement is generally viewed as a reaction to a recent E.U. court decision to single out products made by Jews in Judea and Samaria rather than just as “Made in Israel.”
“This is a historic and moral justice of the first rank that strengthens Israel. I commend President Trump on this unequivocal and courageous statement. The next step – establishing Israeli sovereignty in Judea and Samaria,” Edelstein added.