Biden Admin Secretly Ended Trump Policy of Cooperation With Israeli Science and Tech Institutions in Judea and Samaria

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by Jane Coleman at

Former Ambassador David M. Friedman on U.S. boycott of Israeli institutions in the so-called West Bank: “Make no mistake. The United States, by this action, is embracing the BDS Movement.”

Two weeks ago, the State Department informed Israel that the United States would no longer fund research projects in the West Bank, the Golan Heights, and East Jerusalem with Israeli science and tech institutions, the Times of Israel reports. The move restores the policy that was in place from 1967 until late 2020, when President Trump reversed it, removing existing bans on taxpayer-funded cooperation with entities in those restricted areas.

In fact, as reported in Axios, the decision to reinstate the prior policy banning cooperation with projects in the settlements was made early on in Biden’s presidency. But it came to light only recently when one of the institutions in those areas submitted an application for research funding. Its hand now forced, the State Department re-implemented the prior policy restrictions.

From the State Department spokesperson’s statement to Axios:

“The Department of State recently circulated foreign policy guidance to relevant agencies advising that engaging in bilateral scientific and technological cooperation with Israel” in the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights “is inconsistent with U.S. foreign policy.”

The spokesperson said that the U.S. “strongly values scientific and technological cooperation” with Israel and such cooperation continues.

“This guidance is simply reflective of the longstanding U.S. position … that the ultimate disposition of the geographic areas which came under the administration of Israel after June 5, 1967 is a final status matter and that we are working towards a negotiated two-state solution in which Israel lives in peace and security alongside a viable Palestinian state,” the spokesperson added.

But critics say this “longstanding U.S. position” is nothing less than a U.S. government boycott of Israeli Jews based on where they live. That was Senator Ted Cruz’s take this past Sunday when he blasted the Biden administration for its quiet re-implementation of the pre-Trump era prohibitions:

Joe Biden and Biden administration officials are pathologically obsessed with undermining Israel. Since day one of their administration they have launched campaigns against our Israeli allies that are granular, whole of government, and done in secret.

“This new boycott of Israeli Jews is yet another example. The State Department is telling the entire U.S. government not to cooperate with Jews in Judea and Samaria. And of course it was sent to Congress in secret, and only revealed because reporters found out.

“The Biden administration defends funding scientific research in Wuhan with the Chinese Communist Party, but they’re discriminating against and banning cooperation with Jews based on where they live.

“I will do everything possible to reverse this decision and prohibit such antisemitic discrimination by the U.S. government in the future.”

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