June 24, 2020
News Press Release

ZOA Praises US Senate & House Letters Supporting Israeli Sovereignty Over Judea/Samaria

Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) National President Morton A. Klein and ZOA Chairman Mark Levenson, Esq. released the following statement: 

The ZOA thanks prominent Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Joni Ernst (R-IA) and John Barrasso (R-WY) for their letter yesterday to President Trump. We are very pleased that the Senators’ letter recognizes that the Israeli people have the right to apply sovereignty over Judea and Samaria, and to decide for themselves when the best time is to accomplish that task.  

ZOA also strongly praises the letter released on Monday, authored by House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and signed by 116 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, which strongly endorses the extension of sovereignty to the Jordan Valley and Jewish communities throughout Judea and Samaria, where 500,000 Jews live. 

Israel’s extension of sovereignty is in fact lawful under binding international law.

These new Senate and House letters reflect the traditional close relationship between allies. These Senate and House letters contain no threats or warnings about damage to the historic alliance between the United States and Israel – unlike the partisan letters sent by some Democratic lawmakers last week.  

Israel’s extension of sovereignty is in fact lawful under binding international law, and is called for under the new plan for Middle East peace vision announced by the Trump Administration in January.

It is important to remember that 500,000 Israelis live in Judea and Samaria. Applying sovereignty will show that we care about the lives of those citizens of Israel. Applying sovereignty is also vital for Israel’s security – a fact that the critics of sovereignty are forgetting.  

Any potential future agreement in the region will have to start with the reality that certain territories under Israeli control today will never be relinquished by any Israeli government. Implementing that fact now makes future peace more likely, and does not signal an end to the possibility of peace. 

ZOA has published the salient facts regarding sovereignty here.    

ZOA National President Morton Klein and ZOA Chairman Mark Levenson said: “We are happy to see that these letters led by Senator Cruz and House Leader McCarthy and their colleagues reaffirm the unbreakable bond between the United States and our ally Israel, and that the United States is standing by whatever decision the democratically-elected government of Israel decides upon regarding extending sovereignty.”

“Sovereignty assures Israeli security and defensible borders, so Israel can defend herself by herself. Over 1,000 high-ranking Israeli Defense Forces officers and commanders, in the “Protectors of Israel” movement, explain that sovereignty will secure Israel for decades; that the Jordan Valley “is the natural eastern border and defensive barrier for the land of Israel,” and that sovereignty is necessary because Israel must count on her own strength to deter her enemies.”

ZOA Director of Government Relations Dan Pollak noted: “The letters recognize that U.S. foreign policy is made by the President. President Trump has been a great friend of Israel from the day he took office. ZOA is thankful to his administration for a long list of accomplishments in the region. ZOA is saddened that there are not more Democratic members of the House and Senate who would sign these letters in a bipartisan show of support for Israel.”

The Senate and House letters also endorse the fact that international law is completely on the side of Israel’s right to apply sovereignty over Judea and Samaria. Just a month ago, the world marked the 100th anniversary of the San Remo resolution, adopted by the victorious world powers at the conclusion of World War I. Britain was required to re-establish a homeland for the Jewish People in these lands, in accordance with mandate system adopted by Article 22 of the League of Nations Covenant. Further, under the Mandate for Palestine, the League of Nations confirmed that “recognition has thereby been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country” and called for “close settlement by Jews on the land” and ensured that “no Palestine territory shall be ceded or leased to, or in any way placed under the control of the Government of any foreign Power.” The Anglo-American Convention and UN Charter Article 80 (both U.S.-international treaty obligations) again confirmed the Jewish people’s rights to these lands. This standard still stands. 

Moreover, the Arabs have repeatedlyrejected incredibly over-generous offers for a state of their own, on lands guaranteed to the Jewish people, at least a half-dozen times between 1937 and 2008 – including offers giving the Arabs some 95 percent of the territory they claim they wanted. The Arabs scuttled every potential deal because they refused to agree to end their aggression and claims against Israel, and refused to recognize a Jewish state of Israel in any shape or size. There is no indication that the Palestinian-Arabs will agree to even these two basic stipulations for peace in the future. The Palestinian-Arabs have also been illegally infringing on the rights of Israelis living in “Area C” of the Oslo Accords, which specifically permit Jewish communities in these areas of Judea and Samaria.

ZOA also appreciates that the House letter ends with the words: “As dedicated friends of the Jewish state, we reaffirm our steadfast commitment to the relationship between our two nations and Israel’s right to sovereignty and defensible borders.”