Photo Credit: Aharon Krohn / Flash 90
Former White House senior adviser Jason Greenblatt, speaking at an Israel Hayom conference in the Old City of Jerusalem last June 2019, while still an envoy to the Middle East.

Former senior White House adviser Jason Greenblatt says it’s time to stop calling the Jewish communities in post-1967 areas of Israel “settlements.”

Speaking in an interview with Israel’s Channel 13 television, Greenblatt said Thursday, “I don’t use those terms, ‘settlements.’ I use the terms ‘cities’ and ‘towns’ because that’s what they really are.


“The word ‘settlements’ has become a negative word over the decades,” Greenblatt said. “I think people should start calling them what they are.”

A significant number of Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem were built more than half a century ago. Tens of thousands of residents have spent their lives there, and for some, the neighborhoods have already seen two and in some cases even three generations; yet political leaders in the European Union and in Arab nations insist on calling them “settlements.”

The same holds true for the Jewish towns and cities built in Judea and Samaria. Beitar Illit is home to more than 58,000 people; Modiin Illit is home to more than 73,000 people. Maale Adumim is home to more than 41,000 people. Can you honestly call these “settlements”?


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.