Pompeo blasts Biden admin for making 'same mistake' as Obama on settlements in Jewish biblical region

President Biden's administration is under fire from former Secretary of State Pompeo for stripping Jewish Israelis of their right to live in Israel’s biblical region.

Pompeo blasts Biden admin for making 'same mistake' as Obama on settlements in Jewish biblical region

JERUSALEM – The recent Biden administration decision to revoke the Trump-era "Pompeo Doctrine," which declared Jewish residences as legal in the core biblical region of the Holy Land, has been met with fierce criticism.  

Biden’s controversial move unfolded in late February as Israel continues its offensive in the Gaza Strip to root out Hamas terrorists after it launched a war against the Jewish state on Oct. 7. 

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Fox News Digital, "In reversing the Pompeo Doctrine, President Biden has now decided to ignore the truth that Judea and Samaria are Israel's land, obtusely viewing it as an obstacle to peace and making the same mistake favored by his predecessor in the Obama administration."

Pompeo added "Undermining Israel’s right to exist in the Jewish people’s homeland deepens and prolongs the conflict. It is not Israeli settlements that are an obstacle to peace – it is the unwillingness of the Palestinians to come to the table honestly and acknowledge Israel’s right to exist, the gross atrocities committed by Hamas on Oct. 7, and Hamas’ continued existence. Those are the true obstacles to peace." 

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The international community mostly refers to Israel’s ancient biblical land as the West Bank, while many Israelis refer to the region by its biblical names of Judea and Samaria. Pompeo established during his tenure that Israeli Jews who live in Judea and Samaria, where most of the Bible’s history unfolded, are not in violation of international law. 

U.S. State Department spokesman Matthew Miller defended Biden’s decision to overturn the Pompeo Doctrine, noting, "It has been the long-standing U.S. position across both Democratic and Republican administrations – not just the Biden administration, not just the Obama administration, but Republican administrations as well – that settlements are a barrier to peace, they’re an obstacle to peace. We believe they weaken, not strengthen, Israel’s security."

When asked about the Biden administration gutting the Pompeo Doctrine, a spokesman for Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs told Fox News Digital. "We will not comment on this." 

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David Friedman, the former U.S. ambassador to Israel during the Trump administration, wrote on X following the change of policy, that Secretary of State Antony "Blinken is 100% wrong. I researched this for over a year with many State Department lawyers. There is nothing illegal about Jews living in their biblical homeland. Indeed, Undersecretary of State Eugene Rostow, also the Dean of the Yale Law School (who negotiated UNSCR 242), stated that Israel has the best legal claim to Judea and Samaria. For Blinken to announce this in the middle of a war and when the Jewish Sabbath already has begun in Israel is unconscionable." 

A number of Republicans took to X, formerly known as Twitter, to express outrage over Biden’s reversal of the Pompeo Doctrine. 

Sen. Bill Hagerty, R-Tenn., wrote, "Ambassador @DavidM_Friedman is correct. The Biden Admin’s disgraceful reversal undermines a close friend while rewarding the genocidal terrorists they are fighting. It is not a legal assessment. It is a political calculation meant to appease the pro-Hamas radical left. Shameful." 

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United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 was passed after Israel’s 1967 self-defensive war against Arab nations. UNSCR 242 does not mandate that Israel withdraw from Judea and Samaria, which it captured during the Six-Day War in 1967. 

Israeli governments have long viewed Judea and Samaria as disputed territory and the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the introduction of the Pompeo Doctrine in 2019.    

Miller said the question of whether settlements in Judea and Samaria are legal "is something that had been under review here at the department for some time. " 

He continued, "The secretary over the last several months has embarked on a process to try to ensure lasting peace in the region, to establish an independent Palestinian state, and we thought, as we were engaged in that important process, it was important to avoid any ambiguity about the U.S. position on this matter."