Nine American Presidents (plus Hillary Clinton) have all emphatically and explicitly stated their desire to stop Israeli settlement in the West Bank. They all agreed on the importance of doing so as a cornerstone of American foreign policy in the Middle East and as a step toward a peace agreement between Israel and Palestine.
From Johnson, Nixon, Ford and Carter to the Bushs, Clinton and Obama, one after the other, they all came forward and said, “we must and we will freeze the settlements” … but then they didn’t. Throughout all nine presidencies the settlements just kept growing. At this point, the time has come to ask why nine successive American presidents have been unable to do what they say on this matter.
Arab governments must convince Israel and the world community that they have abandoned the idea of destroying Israel. But equally, Israel must persuade its Arab neighbors and the world community that Israel has no expansionist designs on their territory. Johnson
As a matter of policy, we do not provide assistance to the Israeli government for projects in the occupied territories. Nixon
This matter of settlements in the occupied territories has always been characterized by our government, by me and my predecessors, as an illegal action. Ford
A freeze on Israeli settlements is absolutely necessary … settlement activity is not only counterproductive to the peace process but a violation of it. Carter
Indeed, the immediate adoption of a settlement freeze by Israel, more than any other action, could create the confidence needed for wider participation in these talks. Reagan
My position is that the foreign policy of the United States says we do not believe there should be new settlements in the West Bank or in East Jerusalem. And I will conduct that policy as if it’s firm. Bush Senior
Because Israel believes when it comes right down to it America is the only big country that cares whether they live or die. That’s why I can say, give up the West Bank. Bill Clinton
Consistent with the Mitchell plan, Israeli settlement activity in occupied territories must stop, and the occupation must end…. Young Bush
For more than four decades, Israeli settlement activity in territories occupied in 1967 has undermined Israel’s security and corroded hopes for peace and stability in the region. Obama
We do not accept the legitimacy of settlement activity. Hillary Clinton