"Our position on the settlements is very clear. We do not think they are legal, and they are obviously an impediment to peace."
President Carter, April 12, 1980
Total settlement population: 61,500
"The immediate adoption of a settlements freeze by Israel, more than any other action, could create the confidence needed for wider participation in these talks. Further settlement activity is in no way necessary for the security of Israel."
President Reagan, Sept. 1, 1982
Total settlement population (1983): 106,595
"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, which it is."
President George H.W. Bush, March 3, 1990
Total settlement population: 227,500
"The Israeli people also must understand that ... the settlement enterprise and building bypass roads in the heart of what they already know will one day be part of a Palestinian state is inconsistent with the Oslo commitment that both sides negotiate a compromise."
President Clinton, Jan. 7, 2001
Total settlement population: 387,859
"Israeli settlement activity in occupied territories must stop, and the occupation must end through withdrawal to secure and recognized boundaries, consistent with United Nations Resolutions 242 and 338."
President George W. Bush, April 4, 2002
Total settlement population: 414,119
"Settlements have to be stopped in order for us to move forward."
President Obama, May 18
Total settlement population (2008): 479,500
Sources: Foundation for Middle East Peace, B'tselem and Washington Post research. Population figures are for West Bank, East Jerusalem and (until 2005) Gaza Strip.