Photo Credit: Matty stern/U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv/FLASH90
Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman visited Israel on February 22, 2014.

Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman on Tuesday met with Israeli Ambassador to the United States Michael Herzog to convey the US “concern regarding legislation passed by the Israeli Knesset rescinding important aspects of the 2005 Disengagement Law, including the prohibition on establishing settlements in the northern West Bank.”

On Monday night, the Knesset amended the disengagement law, allowing Israeli settlers to stay in Homesh, which was among the settlements eradicated by the late Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and his associates (It’s a Good Day: Knesset Reverses 2005 Expulsion Law).


The amendment that was passed with a 31 to 18 majority does not include a reference to the prosperous Jewish villages that were destroyed by the IDF and later by the local Arabs in the Gaza Strip.

Sherman and Herzog also discussed the importance of all parties refraining from actions or rhetoric that could further inflame tensions leading into the Ramadan, Passover, and Easter holidays.

According to Kan 11 News, Sherman mentioned the fact that the legislation was passed only two days after the Sharm el-Sheikh summit, in which Israel pledged to calm things down ahead of the month of Ramadan.

State Dept. Principal Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel spoke earlier on Tuesday at a press briefing, and issued the following lengthy statement expressing the US’s deep disappointment:

“The United States is extremely troubled that the Israeli Knesset has passed legislation rescinding important parts of the 2005 disengagement law, including the prohibition on establishing settlements in the northern West Bank. At least one of these outposts in this area, Homesh, was built on private Palestinian land, which is illegal under Israeli law.”

As I noted on Tuesday, on January 1, 1978, the IDF confiscated an area of 173 acres from the Arab villages of Burqa and Silat ad-Dhahr in northern Samaria to establish a Nahal Brigade settlement, and the confiscation decree did not bear a time limit – making the resettlement of Homesh consistent with Israeli law.

“It is all the more concerning that such a significant piece of legislation passed with just 31 ‘yes’ votes out of an assembly of 120 members.”

Are you kidding? Judge Aharon Barak revolutionized Israel’s entire judicial system with a 32-vote majority – how many MKs do you need to stay up in the middle of the night to vote on 173 acres?

“De-escalating and reducing violence are in all parties’ interests, including Israel’s. The US strongly urges Israel to refrain from allowing the return of settlers to the area covered by the legislation, consistent with both former Prime Minister Sharon and the current Israeli Government’s commitment to the United States.”

Well, in the beginning, the residents will only be allowed to study at the local yeshiva, but with time, according to the new amendment, they will be free to negotiate with local Arab owners to purchase the land. By the way, as I pointed out on Tuesday, the evacuated settlement of Ganim, which also began as a Nahal base, has been settled illegally by Arabs in 2022. How does the State Dept. feel about that?

“We have been clear that advancing settlements is an obstacle to peace and the achievement of a two-state solution. This certainly includes creating new settlements, building or legalizing outposts, or allowing building of any kind on private Palestinian land or deep in the West Bank adjacent to Palestinian communities, all of which would be facilitated by this legal change.”

Oh, just give up the delusional notion of a two-state solution. We don’t buy it, they don’t buy it, and even you don’t buy it. Rest assured that the next Republican administration will do away with it. Who needs the headache?

“The action also represents a clear contradiction of undertakings the Israeli Government made to the United States. Nearly 20 years ago, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on behalf of Israel affirmed in writing to George W. Bush that it committed to evacuate these settlements and outposts in the northern West Bank, in order to stabilize the situation and reduce frictions.”

A lot of friction was reduced since that letter… And as to Ariel Sharon, how happy was the State Dept. with all his other actions over the years? Would you like to check your archives?

“The amendments to the disengagement law are also inconsistent with Israel’s recent commitments to de-escalating Israeli-Palestinian tensions. Just two days ago, Israel reaffirmed its ‘commitment to stop discussion of any new settlements for four months and to stop authorization of any outposts for six months.’ Coming at a time of heightened tensions, the legislative changes announced today are particularly provocative and counterproductive to efforts to restore some measures of calm as we head into the Ramadan, Passover, and Easter holidays.”

These are not new settlements. These are Jewish villages that were ripped from the land by a corrupt leader who made a deal with the state prosecution to keep him out of jail at the expense of thousands of Jews whose lives he destroyed. Oh, and they’re here to stay.

Prime Minister Netanyahu’s office released a statement on Wednesday regarding the big hullabaloo, “The Knesset’s decision to repeal parts of the secession law brings an end to a discriminatory and humiliating law that prohibited Jews from living in the areas of northern Samaria, part of our historical homeland. It is no coincidence that senior members of the opposition supported this law along the way. However, the government has no intention of establishing new settlements in these areas.”


Previous articleSyria Reports Israeli Attack on Aleppo International Airport
Next articleLetters To The Editor – March 24, 2023
David writes news at