Please see comments on Pompeo's announcement regarding Israeli settlements from Atalia Omer, associate professor of religion, conflict, and peace studies at the University of Notre Dame's Keough School of Global Affairs. Omer is also the author of Days of Awe: Reimagining Jewishness in Solidarity With Palestinians, about which she was interviewed in The Nation

"This move clearly violates international law and demonstrates the Administration's explicit effort to appease its Evangelical Christian Zionist base. The move which sanctions annexation is consistent with the relocation of the American embassy to Jerusalem, another move that deflated any oxygen still remaining in the quickly eroding two-state peace formula. While ubiquitously framed as a departure from US policies, the reality is that US administrations have enabled Israeli settlement policies for decades now. The move also deeply alienates American and Israeli Jews committed to ending the occupation, with an understanding that what the occupation means is open to interpretation. In particular, a growing anti-occupation movement among American Jews I profiled in my book Days of Awe appears to be in profound contrast to the capitulation of the American Administration to extreme territorialist agenda driven by elements within Israeli society and supported by and amplified by allies and opportunists in the US.

The bottom line is that the claim of the Administration to act in ways to enhance Jewish unique claims, in effect, operates against a background of growing and deepening opposition and American critical engagement with Israeli policies and Palestinian rights. Further, it signals the shift in the rhetoric of the support of Israeli policies from a bipartisan to a partisan issue identified with the Republican Party. The irony is that Jews vote predominantly Democratic and what is articulated as the promotion of a Jewish issue or a concern with Jewish cultural and religious attachments and history through sanctioning the annexation of the territories occupied in '67 is opposed by most Jewish American voters." 



Colleen Sharkey

Assistant Director, Media Relations

University of Notre Dame

(office) 574-631-9958

(cell) 574-999-0102

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