Kohelet Policy Forum Applaud Trump Administration Announcement to “Disavow” Hansel Memo on Legality of Israeli Settlements

January 8, 2020

< 1 min read

JERUSALEM (8/1/2020) The Kohelet Policy Forum applauds the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s announcement that the U.S.  is “disavowing” the 1978 State Department memo that wrongly concluded that Israeli settlements violate international law. This was one move further from Secretary Pompeo’s statement in November which declared that the United States “no longer recognize Israeli settlements as per se inconsistent with international law.”

For decades, a brief and poorly-reasoned memo by a State Department official had been relied upon as evidence that Israeli settlements are illegal. Now, Secretary Pompeo makes clear that the U.S. not only does not adopt the conclusions of the Carter-era memo, but entirely repudiates it as a source of legal guidance.The announcement was made today by Secretary Mike Pompeo in video statement at the Kohelet Policy Forum Conference on the Pompeo Doctrine in Jerusalem.

Watch the Pompeo statement here:

Professor Eugene Kontorovich, Director of International Law at the Jerusalem-based Kohelet Policy Forum applauded the statement: “American Policy is now clearer than ever, Jews living in Judea and Samaria is not a crime. For decades, the obscure Carter-era memo was used as justification for anti-Israel policies despite the fact that its conclusions were rejected by subsequent administrations. Sec. Pompeo’s statement at the Kohelet conference today makes clear the U.S.’s wholesale rejection of the legal theory that holds that international law restricts Israeli Jews from moving into areas from which Jordan had ethnically cleansed them in 1949.”

The Jerusalem-based Kohelet Policy Forum consists of over eighty academics and scholars that strive to secure Israel’s future as the nation-state of the Jewish people, to strengthen representative democracy, and to broaden individual liberty and free-market principles in Israel.

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