The Honorable Michael R. Pompeo
Secretary of State
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20230

Dear Secretary Pompeo, 

The announcement from the current U.S. Administration that there is no such thing as “occupied territories” in Israel is abhorrent as well as foolish. It suggests that there is no such thing as a centuries-old Palestinian community that is entitled to live securely on the land on which they have lived for generations. It violates the fundamental right of people to own, tend, and hold their land, and forbids encroachment and occupation by other hostile entities.

This decision is a direct violation of internationally recognized agreements. It questions political wisdom and demonstrates no regard for the Palestinian people and their civil and political rights.

The pandering to current Israeli leadership carries the foolish assumption that such violations of Palestinian rights will generate political support in the United Stated in the Jewish American community. In fact, most American Jews understand such actions are more likely to further anti-Semitism.

On behalf of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), I call on President Trump and other leaders of this current U.S. Administration to desist and return to a role of leadership that leads to peace rather than violence and, ultimately, that leads to an equitable, stable future for both Palestinians and Israelis.


In search of peace and justice,

J. Herbert Nelson Signature 

The Reverend J. Herbert Nelson, II
Stated Clerk of the General Assembly
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)