The United States stopped funding Israeli universities in the occupied West Bank

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The United States announced Monday that it will stop funding scientific research with Israeli academic institutions in the West Bank.

The decision by Biden’s administration reverses a step taken by former President Donald Trump’s administration that rejected the broad international consensus that Israel has illegally occupied the West Bank since 1967.

The new guidance to US government agencies states that “engaging in bilateral scientific and technological cooperation with Israel in geographic areas administered by Israel after 1967 and still subject to final status negotiations is contrary to US foreign policy,” State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said.

The spokesman stressed that the United States “highly values ​​scientific and technological cooperation with Israel,” adding that the restrictions imposed on funding scientific research in the West Bank “reflect the long-term American position”.

The decision particularly affects Ariel University, a major academic institution established in 1982 on the lands of a then-new settlement in the West Bank.

Members of the Republican Party quickly attacked the decision.

In this regard, Senator Ted Cruz criticized what he described as “anti-Semitic discrimination” against Jews in the West Bank, saying that the Biden administration is “morbidly obsessed with undermining Israel”.

As for David Friedman, the US ambassador to Israel under Trump and supporter of Ariel University, he accused the Biden administration of adopting the proposals of the Boycott Israel movement.

However, the Biden administration says it opposes the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, which calls for cutting ties with Israel as a whole, not just the settlements.

Under Mike Pompeo, Trump’s secretary of state, Washington has taken measures in favor of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, including allowing its products labeled “Made in Israel”.

The Biden administration has returned to the old US position calling for a two-state solution and criticizing settlement expansion.

Washington has stopped making any substantial efforts in the peace negotiations, considering that the prospects for their success are very slim under the rule of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who leads the most right-wing government in Israel’s history.

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