In an interview last week, United States Ambassador to Israel Thomas Nides announced that he would “absolutely not” and “under any circumstances” visit any Jewish communities located in Judea and Samaria.
Nides's reasoning behind his decision to boycott visiting Jewish communities in the heartland of Israel—where nearly 10% of Jews in Israel call home—is that he is “trying not to do things to agitate people,” according to Morton Klein in the JPost. Yet in the same interview, Nides stated that he would be willing to visit Judea and Samaria to meet with Mahmoud Abbas and Palestinian Authority officials.
A glaring double standard
The double standard here is obvious, as Nides is unwilling to visit Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria to avoid agitating the Arab population, yet has no qualms about agitating Israel by visiting the Palestinian Authority which pays hundreds of millions of dollars per year to terrorists who murder Jews. This decision showcases the Biden administration's continued refusal to acknowledge Israel's moral, legal and historical rights to Judea and Samaria and their desire to appease those who hate Israel and seek the establishment of a Palestinian state in the Land.
Nides's decision to boycott any visits to Jewish communities is also a complete turnaround from 2019 when, before becoming ambassador in the Biden administration, he praised the decision of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the Trump administration for recognizing that Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria are legal. This change of mind by Nides indicates just how hostile the Biden administration is towards Jews living in Judea and is a shameful attempt to delegitimize these Jews who are restoring the heartland of Israel.
In a 2019 tweet, Ambassador Nides thanks President Trump and then-Secretary of State Pompeo for recognizing the legality of Israeli settlements.
Withdrawing support for Israel over "climate concerns"
In another shameful example of the Biden administration's hostility towards Israel, Biden announced last week that America is withdrawing support for the Eastern Mediterranean pipeline, which would allow Israel to ship natural gas to European markets, according to the Gatestone Institute. Despite the White House's claims that the pipeline was antithetical to its "climate goals," less than a year ago, Biden waived sanctions on the controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline between Russia and Germany with no apparent concern for "climate goals."
The move to withdraw sanctions on an extremely controversial pipeline from one of America's biggest geopolitical rivals while withdrawing support from a pipeline that would significantly benefit one of our closest allies is another puzzling move by the Biden administration that seems to show a bias against, and outright hostility towards, Israel.
Jon Voight: It's the Heart of Israel
In brighter news, actor Jon Voight visited the Mount of Blessing in Israel last week to work on a film, and said that Judea and Samaria should not be called the West Bank as it is the "heart of Israel," the JPost reported. “Judea and Samaria, how prominent they are in Israel, how important they are,” said Voight. “When you call that the West Bank, it doesn’t make any sense. It’s the heart of Israel.”
Today, even with an administration in power that is actively working to undermine the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, it is important for all of us to speak the truth about the heartland of Israel boldly. It's up to lovers of Israel to spread the true message about Judea and Samaria and the stories of the brave pioneers returning and resettling their ancient homeland. Blessed Buy Israel is one avenue that provides people with a way to support the work of restoration happening in Judea and Samaria and to learn about the people who live in the Jewish communities that the world stands against.
March 04, 2022
What an insightful, valuable article, Matthew! And what a thrill it is to see your journalistic gifts joining your illustrious family!