Central Conference of American Rabbis Statement on Secretary of State Pompeo’s Position on the Legality of West Bank Settlements

November 19, 2019

The Central Conference of American Rabbis denounces the change in United States policy, declared by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, regarding the legality of Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Having long opposed expansion and growth of those settlements, we fear that this change in policy attenuates the already-limited extent to which the United States may be seen as an appropriate facilitator for a Middle East peace process.

The CCAR has for decades voiced strong support for a two-state solution, which offers the only viable future for Israel, the Palestinian people, a peaceful Middle East, and a Jewish and democratic State of Israel. We recognize with regret that current Palestinian leadership is not a viable partner for peace, we deplore the violence that threatens Israelis’ lives and well-being daily, and we note that Israeli government policies and practices often multiply hardships of Palestinians living under occupation. Still, we continue to favor any and all measures that may increase confidence on both sides and lead to fruitful peace negotiations. Moreover, the CCAR advocates for the United States’ role in facilitating peace negotiations and this announcement by Secretary of State Pompeo dramatically compromises our country’s ability to do so.

We urge the Trump Administration to continue the United States’ long-standing policy opposing West Bank settlement expansion and growth and to work diligently and creatively to do this country’s part in building a peaceful future in the Middle East.

Rabbi Ronald Segal
Central Conference of American Rabbis

Rabbi Hara E. Person
Chief Executive
Central Conference of American Rabbis