Every U.S. administration since 1967 has opposed Israeli settlement activity, and nearly every Israeli government since 1967 has supported the building and expansion of settlements in occupied territory. Despite continued U.S. objections, Israel continues to flout international law and the commitments it has made to the United States regarding its settlements expansion. Aside from harsh rhetoric, the United States has taken nearly no action against settlements. As a result, the next administration will face the same settlements problem its predecessors have faced, and will need to find a way to balance its support for Israel’s security and its opposition to expanding settlements, which continue to obstruct a path to peace.

Key Points

  • Defying the Elon Moreh Israeli Supreme Court ruling, Israeli settlers have, with government knowledge and support, continued to build settlements on private Palestinian land
  • President Barack Obama has taken a tougher stance on settlements, heightening his already tense relationship with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
  • The next administration could support a U.N. Security Council resolution criticizing settlement construction
  • The next administration could consider a reduction in aid if Israel does not adhere to its commitment to remove all outposts since 2001
  • The next administration could also follow in the footsteps of the E.U. by excluding Israeli goods and services produced in occupied territories from the benefits of our bilateral free trade agreement

Read the full Policy Focus here.


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