Caroline Glick
Caroline GlickGershon Elinson

The Trump administration’s declaration Monday that Israeli settlement in Judea and Samaria does not violate international law marks a “revolutionary” change in the American position on the issue, and constitutes “an extraordinary gesture of support for Israel”, journalist and veteran publisher Caroline Glick argued in a piece published by Israel Hayom Monday night.

“Mike Pompeo’s statement Monday that Israeli settlements are not illegal per se is the most significant shift in U.S. Middle East policy in the past generation,” wrote Glick.

While the Trump administration has taken other major – and in some case, more concrete – measures regarding Israel, such as the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and the relocation of the US embassy as well as the recognition of the Golan Heights as Israeli territory, Glick argues that this latest move is far more notable.

Jerusalem was recognized as Israel’s capital by an act of Congress in 1995, and there has been little interest in Washington or Europe to pressure Israel to surrender the Golan amid the ongoing Syrian civil war, noted Glick, while Judea and Samaria remains perhaps the most divisive issue internationally.

“Pompeo made two revolutionary assertions… ‘The establishment of Israeli civilian settlements in the West Bank is not per se inconsistent with international law’,” and “‘calling the establishment of civilian settlements inconsistent with international law has not advanced the cause of peace’.”

The declaration, Glick continued, constitutes a “complete rebuke” by the Trump administration of the European Union’s position on the issue of Judea and Samaria.

“Pompeo’s statement is first and foremost an extraordinary gesture of support for Israel and the rights of the Jewish people on the part of President Donald Trump and his administration. But from a U.S. perspective, it also represents a key advance in Trump’s realist foreign policy.”