September 28, 2010 – Following the expiration of Israel’s self-imposed moratorium halting the construction of new Israeli settlements in the West Bank, Congressman Trent Franks (AZ-02) today released the following statement:
“Upon the lapsing of the moratorium on new settlements, State Department representatives expressed the Obama Administration’s ‘disappointment’ that Israel would resume its construction of houses in the West Bank. Unfortunately, I believe the Administration’s disappointment is seriously misdirected.
“Comments such as those coming from the State Department are not at all unexpected, as the Obama Administration has consistently shown an unprecedented degree of antagonism toward Israel. A few months ago, the Administration chastised Israel for building homes in Jerusalem, despite the fact that Jerusalem is not a settlement, but the capital of the nation of Israel, which was founded and built by the ancient people of Israel 3000 years ago.
“Indeed, it is highly ironic and bewildering that Israel has received more open rebuke from the Obama administration for plans to build houses in Jerusalem than the Iranian regime that threatens Israel with annihilation has received for building a secret uranium enrichment facility to produce nuclear weapons.
“This moratorium has shown which party is truly serious about peace negotiations. While Israel reaches out with olive branches (including voluntarily adopting this moratorium) as they have so many times in the past, Palestinian President Abbas has indicated that he might not even be willing to resume talks, if Israel doesn’t halt construction in the West Bank.
“As Israelis celebrate their ability to resume construction on the thousands of dwellings that have sat unfinished throughout this moratorium, I urge President Obama to at long last embrace, rather than alienate, the most vital ally America has in the world.”
Congressman Franks is serving his fourth term in the U.S. House of Representatives, and is a member of the Committee on Armed Services, Strategic Forces Subcommittee, Oversight & Investigations Subcommittee, Military Readiness Subcommittee, Committee on the Judiciary, Constitution Subcommittee, and is Ranking Member on the Subcommittee on Commercial and