Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) President Morton A. Klein and ZOA Chair Mark Levenson, Esq. released the following statement:
The ZOA praises Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for his statement at this morning’s press briefing confirming that Israel’s exercise of sovereignty over the historic and lawful Jewish lands of Judea-Samaria is an Israel decision. Secretary Pompeo stated:
“We’re happy with a new [Israeli] government formed. A fourth [election] we think wouldn’t have been Israel’s their best interest, but we’ll leave that to them. We think it’s not in the world’s best interest. We’re glad there’s now a fully formed government in Israel. As for the annexation in the West Bank, the Israelis will ultimately make those decisions. That’s an Israeli decision. We will work closely with them to share with them our views of this in a private setting.” (See Pompeo briefing video, at minute 20:05.)
Israel indeed has had the right to exercise sovereignty over Judea-Samaria (sometimes referred to by the Jordanian name “West Bank”). Judea and Samaria are the heart of the historic Jewish kingdoms, faith and history. These areas were moreover guaranteed to the Jewish people for the reestablishment of the Jewish homeland, under binding international law, including the San Remo resolution, the Mandate, the Anglo-American Convention, and the UN Charter. Israel should have exercised sovereignty over these areas decades ago. The strategic hills of Judea-Samaria are also essential to Israel’s security. Without these areas, Israel’s major cities and airport would be in close firing range of Arab terrorist rockets.
Israel’s prompt exercise of her sovereignty rights is moreover widely supported by Jews throughout the world. Last October, the World Zionist Congress – the parliament of the Jewish people – passed a resolution (res. 5.3, proposed by World Likud – ZOA Coalition), with a significant majority of the vote, “call[ing] upon the Israel Government to apply Israeli sovereignty to the Jordan Valley, and to also promote settlement in these areas.”
It is critical for Israel to exercise her sovereign rights to Judea-Samaria promptly, during a U.S. administration that, as Secretary Pompeo affirmed today, understands that this is an Israeli decision. Further delay would risk Israel having to deal with a new administration that opposes and interferes with Israel’s rights and security.