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US State Department stops referring to Judea and Samaria as ‘occupied’

In a significant policy change, the State Department ceased using the term “occupied” in references to various regions of Israel, including Judea and Samaria.

By: World Israel News Staff

In a US State Department annual report on human rights, the controversial term “occupied” was largely eliminated in references to various territories in and adjacent to Israel. While the term “occupied” had been used in such reports since the Carter administration, the 2017 version drops this term, which is generally used pejoratively to criticize Israeli policy following military victories through which the Jewish state acquired control of various territories.

The change comes after US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman advised the department in December to stop using the “misleading” term “occupied” in references to Judea and Samaria

At the time, Friedman remarked in an interview, “I think the settlements [in Judea and Samaria] are part of Israel,” which “was always the expectation when [UN] Resolution 242 was adopted.” He added, “The 1967 borders were viewed by everybody as not secure. There was always supposed to be some expectation of [Israeli] expansion” into Judea and Samaria.

The term “occupied” is considered by many to be a loaded phrase intended to demonize Israel with regard to its activities in disputed areas. According to policy expert Dan Diker of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA), “Friedman is advancing Trump administration policy to correct past mistakes and misconceptions of American diplomats. Since the Oslo Accords in 1995, the most densely Palestinian populated areas in the territories are designated as ‘Area A’ and ‘Area B,’ which are under Palestinian autonomy, and are certainly not legally occupied.”

Mark Zell, who heads Republicans in Israel, commented to World Israel News in December that “Ambassador Friedman is fighting back against bureaucratic inertia and State Department Arabists.”

In response to the State Department’s subsequent change in terminology, Israel’s Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman tweeted over the weekend, “The lie of the occupied Palestinian territories begins to be revealed. They say that a lie repeated often enough becomes true, but the truth is forever stronger. The State Department report is proof of that.”




此前,美国驻以色列大使David Friedman在十二月建议该部门停止使用“误导”的术语“Judea”和“Samaria”。


“占领”一词被许多人认为是一个含蓄的短语,意欲将以色列在有争议地区的活动妖魔化。根据耶路撒冷公共事务中心(JCPA)的政策专家Dan Diker所说,“弗里德曼正在推进特朗普政府的政策,以纠正美国外交官过去的错误和误解。自1995奥斯陆协定以来,领土上人口最密集的巴勒斯坦人口区被指定为“巴勒斯坦自治区”下的“A区”和“B区”,当然没有合法占领。

以色列共和党人Mark Zell在十二月对《世界以色列新闻》发表评论说,“弗里德曼大使正在反击官僚惰性和国务院阿拉伯主义者。”

以色列国务院国防部长Avigdor Liberman上周末在推特上发表讲话,回应美国国务院随后的术语变化,“被占领巴勒斯坦领土的谎言开始显露出来。”他们说经常重复的谎言变得真实,但真相永远更强烈。国务院的报告证明了这一点。”


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