Speaker Johnson Slams White House, Saying Jews Have Right to Live in 'The Biblical Heartland’

Michael Foust | CrosswalkHeadlines Contributor | Published: Feb 28, 2024
Speaker Johnson Slams White House, Saying Jews Have Right to Live in 'The Biblical Heartland’

Speaker Johnson Slams White House, Saying Jews Have Right to Live in 'The Biblical Heartland’

House Speaker Mike Johnson is speaking out against a new policy by the Biden Administration on Israel and the West Bank, saying in a social media post that the “Jewish people have a historic and legal right to live in the land of Israel including in Judea and Samaria -- the biblical heartland.”

At issue is a new policy by the U.S. State Department that considers new Israeli housing and settlements in the West Bank “inconsistent with international law.”

“Our administration maintains a firm opposition to settlement expansion, and in our judgment this only weakens, doesn't strengthen, Israel's security,” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said last week.

The Biden Administration says the policy is a return to the pre-Trump policy held for decades by both Democratic and Republican presidents. In 2019, then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the Trump Administration did not consider settlements in the West Bank “inconsistent with international law.”

Johnson, in a post on X (formerly Twitter), criticized the Biden policy.

“This is a shameful decision,” Johnson wrote. “The Jewish people have a historic and legal right to live in the land of Israel including in Judea and Samaria -- the biblical heartland. It is an absolute disgrace the Biden administration would issue this decision, especially as Israel fights terrorists on multiple fronts that seek Israel’s destruction and as more than 130 hostages remain in Gaza.

“The Biden Administration must stop undermining Israel and facilitating efforts to delegitimize Israel,” Johnson wrote. “It is misguided and unconscionable.”

David M Friedman, U.S. ambassador to Israel under former President Trump, said on social media “Blinken is 100% wrong.”

“I researched this for over a year with many State Department lawyers,” Friedman wrote. “There is nothing illegal about Jews living in their biblical homeland. ...For Blinken to announce this in the middle of a war and when the Jewish Sabbath already has begun in Israel is unconscionable.”

The Biden administration is standing by the new policy. 

“We are simply reaffirming the fundamental conclusion that these settlements are inconsistent with international law. ...That is a position that has been consistent over a range of Republican and Democratic administrations,” White House national security spokesperson John Kirby said. “If there's an administration that is being inconsistent, it was the previous one.”

Image credit: ©Pixabay


Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist PressChristianity TodayThe Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.



Speaker Johnson Slams White House, Saying Jews Have Right to Live in 'The Biblical Heartland’