A group of U.S. House Republicans has penned a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in response to a letter sent to him last month by their Democratic colleagues that threatened the conditioning or even cutting off of U.S. assistance to Israel if the Jewish state goes ahead with its plans to apply sovereignty to parts of the West Bank, also known as Judea and Samaria.
The GOP letter was signed by Reps. Scott Perry (R-Pa.), Andy Harris (R-Md.), Scott DesJarlais (R-Tenn.), Ron Wright (R-Texas), Jody Hice (R-Ga.), Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), Randy Weber (R-Texas), Russ Fulcher (R-Idaho), Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), Tedd Budd (R-N.C.), Denver Riggleman (R-Va.) and Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), who is the chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus.
“America has no greater friend than Israel, and Israel has no greater friend than America. For 72 years, both of our nations have fought side by side in pursuit of justice and peace,” they wrote in the July 10 letter, which was obtained by JNS. “No state in the modern history of the world has done more to prepare a path for reconciliation and peace with their neighbors than the State of Israel.”
The Republican congressmen noted that Israel has done what it could to achieve peace, only for the Palestinians to respond with “open hostility and violence.”
It continued: “When Israel won control over Judea and Samaria following the 1967 war, their presence in the area was perfectly legitimate under international law.”
Regarding the latter, “Israel has a legal obligation under international statute to administer the territory and protect the population. Under international law, until peace is achieved and terrorism ended, Israel has every right to retain control of Judea and Samaria.”
The House Democratic letter was signed by Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), Betty McCollum (D-Minn.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.), André Carson (D-Ind.), Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.), Bobby Rush (D-Ill.), Jesús “Chuy” Garcia (D-Ill.), Danny Davis (D-Ill.) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).
Addressing them, the Republican congressmen wrote: “You soon will receive a letter criticizing any potential annexation of the Judea and Samaria Area. We urge you reject the blatant anti-Semitism that pervades that letter, and instead continue the groundbreaking work you, on behalf of the United States and President Trump, have done to further peace and justice for the Israeli and Palestinian people.”