The US embassy in Tel Aviv apologized to Israeli extreme left-wing organizations after accidentally including bottles of wine made in Judea in its annual Rosh Hashana gift baskets, out of fear it would be perceived as demonstrating support for the so-called “illegal settlements.”
The Judean wine was placed in the basket by a third party vendor from whom the embassy purchased the pre-wrapped baskets, a US source told The Jerusalem Post.
“We would not have included the wine had we known that it was from the settlements,” US Embassy spokeswoman Valerie O’Brien stated.
“We strongly oppose boycotts targeting the State of Israel, but maintain our long-standing policy that settlements are illegitimate and harmful to the prospects for peace and to Israel’s long-term security,” O’Brien said.
I’m sure it was an honest mistake,” a Peace Now member told Reuters. Peace Now is an extreme left-wing organization.
While the US embassy posits that Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria is “illegitimate and harmful,” the reality is quite different.
Israel returned to Judea and Samaria and united its capital Jerusalem during the 1967 Six Day War. The Palestinians want the territory for their future state, along with the Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem as their capital, and deny the Jews’ ancestral and biblical connection to these lands.
Jews have been living in those areas for centuries, and their presence does not undermine prospects for peace. Israel blames failed peace efforts on Arab refusal to recognize Israel and their denials of the Jewish historical connections to the land.
Some 120 communities have been built in Judea and Samaria, now home to more than 400,000 Israeli Jews. Some 200,000 Israeli Jews live in the eastern side of Jerusalem, which Israel annexed and considers part of its eternal, undivided capital.
The Palestinians, along with part of the international community, view Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria as illegal or illegitimate. They claim the growing number of Israelis makes it increasingly difficult to establish their own state in these territories.
By: United with Israel Staff
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