update deskU.S.-Israel Relations

House bill calls for US to refer officially to ‘Judea, Samaria,’ not ‘West Bank’

“The term ‘West Bank’ is used to delegitimize Israel’s historical claim to this land,” stated Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-N.Y.).

Landscape in Judea and Samaria. Credit: pokku/Shutterstock.
Landscape in Judea and Samaria. Credit: pokku/Shutterstock.

A new bill in Congress aims to stress the holiness and ancient Jewish history of the Holy Land.

Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-N.Y.). introduced the “Recognizing Judea and Samaria Act” on Feb. 29. The legislation would require all official U.S. documents and materials to reference “Judea and Samaria” rather than the “West Bank.”

“The Israeli people have an undeniable and indisputable historical and legal claim over Judea and Samaria, and at this critical moment in history, the United States must reaffirm this,” Tenney stated.

Rep. Claudia Tenney
Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-N.Y.). Credit: U.S. House of Representatives Official Photo.

The congresswoman, whose bill is cosponsored by Reps. Randy Weber (R-Texas) and Anthony D’Esposito (R-N.Y.), said that the Biden administration was “misguided” to “revoke the Pompeo Doctrine,” a decision which “undermines our greatest ally in the Middle East.”

“This bill reaffirms Israel’s rightful claim to its territory. I remain committed to defending the integrity of the Jewish state and fully supporting Israel’s sovereignty over Judea and Samaria,” Tenney stated.

The N.Y. Republican noted that the term “Judea and Samaria” dates to ancient times, to the kingdoms of Judah and Samaria.

“In 1967, after Israel’s Arab neighbors launched the Six-Day War, Israel reclaimed Judea and Samaria from Jordan. The term ‘West Bank’ is used to delegitimize Israel’s historical claim to this land,” she stated.

In November 2019, then secretary of state Mike Pompeo said that Washington formally recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights and Judea and Samaria.

“Recently, Secretary of State Antony Blinken reversed this position, stating the Biden administration’s disappointment in Israel’s recent decision to expand its settlements in the region,” Tenney stated. “This condemnation comes in spite of the fact that under the Oslo Accords, a bilateral agreement between Israel and Palestinian representatives, Israel was granted full military and civilian control over the majority of Judea and Samaria.”

On Oct. 8, the day after Hamas terrorists attacked Israel, Tenney introduced the “Operation Swords of Iron” Iron Dome Supplemental Appropriations Act.

“Fifty years ago, the U.S. was reluctant to support Israel during the Yom Kippur War. We cannot make the same mistake today,” she stated at the time.

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