Biden criticizes Trump on Judea and Samaria

Democratic presidential hopeful says policy change on Judea and Samaria will inflame regional tensions.

Elad Benari ,

Joe Biden
Joe Biden

Former US Vice President and Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden on Monday criticized the announcement by the Trump administration that Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria are not “per se inconsistent with international law.”

A statement from Biden’s campaign spokesman shared with Jewish Insider said that “this decision harms the cause of diplomacy, takes us further away from the hope of a two-state solution, and will only further inflame tensions in the region. It’s not about peace or security. It is not about being pro-Israel. It is about undercutting Israel’s future in service of Trump’s personal politics.”

The spokesman said that “Vice President Biden is and has always been a strong supporter of Israel”, but insisted, “Critical to that strong support is the understanding that the best way to ensure Israel’s future security as a Jewish and democratic state is for Israelis and Palestinians to work together toward a two-state solution. That’s also the only way to achieve the legitimate rights and freedoms the Palestinian people deserve.”

“Expanding settlement activity makes that harder. It’s an obstacle to peace. That’s something that every previous administration, both Republican and Democratic, have agreed on—until Trump,” Biden’s spokesman said.

Two other Democratic presidential hopefuls similarly expressed discontent with the Trump administration’s policy shift.

Senator Elizabeth Warren blasted the announcement as “another blatantly ideological attempt by the Trump administration to distract from its failures in the region.”

“Not only do these settlements violate international law—they make peace harder to achieve. As president, I will reverse this policy and pursue a two state solution,” Warren tweeted.

Senator Bernie Sanders also slammed the Trump administration’s announcement and said, “Israeli settlements in occupied territory are illegal. This is clear from international law and multiple United Nations resolutions. Once again, Mr. Trump is isolating the United States and undermining diplomacy by pandering to his extremist base.”