Trump’s Poisoned Gift to Israel
The U.S. declaration could provide a tailwind to the right-wing plan of annexation
The change in the American policy on the legal status of the West Bank settlements should be no cause for rejoicing in Israel. If this is a gift, then it’s a poisoned one. Official American permission to settle in the occupied territories not only does not contribute to Israel’s strength and status, it could push it into an irreversible situation of an apartheid state.
It seems that U.S. President Donald Trump’s strategy regarding the conflict can be summed up as follows: If for decades, previous administrations have tried and failed to make peace, then we’ll take the beliefs that guided our predecessors and do the exact opposite. After “taking off the negotiating table” core issues such as the status of Jerusalem and the problem of the refugees, by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and striking a blow against UNRWA, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s is a crass attempt to negate the assumption at the basis of the traditional American approach to the conflict, by which peace requires the evacuation of settlements.
It’s been three years since Trump was elected president and the “deal of the century” was declared the solution to the old conflict, and the region has not moved even one step forward toward reconciliation. What is left of these pompous declarations are poisoned gifts that Trump has given to his protégé Netanyahu, which benefit him electorally and strengthen the right-wing camp.
Netanyahu indeed thanked the Americans who in their statement “clearly rejected the false claim that Israeli settlements in Judea and Samaria are inherently illegal under international law.”
The liar of course is Netanyahu, who knows full well that despite the declaration by the Americans, they cannot legitimize the illegitimate. The settlements were built on occupied land in opposition to international law and UN resolutions. What’s worse, the American declaration could provide a tailwind to the right-wing plan of annexation. Netanyahu might be aware of the destructive implications of such a step, but the state and its future have not been at the forefront of his mind for a long time now, only his own future.
What is even more infuriating is the response of Kahol Lavan chairman MK Benny Gantz, who thanked the American government for the declaration. Instead of representing those who seek peace with our neighbors based on a division of the land as the only possibly solution that would recognize the national aspirations of both peoples through respect of the right to self-determination – Gantz shows himself to be a pale replica of Netanyahu when it comes to his diplomatic concepts.
If Gantz really wants to be a worthy alternative, he must realize that the greatest danger looming over Israel is – along with the dissolution of the fabric of Israeli society and descent into a culture of corruption – deterioration to the point that Israel must decide whether it is an apartheid state or a binational state, when each of those possibilities means the end of the Zionist dream.
Dr. Ashrawi’s Statement:
Trump administration is a threat to international peace and security
The announcement made by US Secretary of State has no legal validity. The US neither has the right nor agency to rewrite international law and deface the rules-based international order based on its perverse ideological leanings.
Israeli settlements are a grave violation of international law, including international humanitarian law. They also constitute a war crime according to the Rome Statute. These are solid facts that the Trump administration cannot alter or unravel.
This announcement reaffirms Palestine’s assessment that the Trump administration is a threat to international peace and security because it is a partner in Israeli crimes and provides political cover for its pervasive violations.
This administration is a threat the international community must confront with consistency and moral clarity.
The Palestinian leadership will continue to pursue justice and redress through all available legal and political avenues. Palestine remains solidly committed to international law and at the forefront of defending the values and principles for which it stands. It is time for responsible states to take collective action that rises to the level of threat this administration’s lawlessness presents to the world.
Michael Lynk, Canadian law professor and UN human rights expert emphasized the fact that “the illegality of the Israeli settlements has been accepted by virtually every country in the world,” and by departing with this consensus, the US is legitimizing “the significant human rights and humanitarian violations perpetuated by the settlements.”
Palestinian-American activist and human rights lawyer Noura Erekat wasn’t particularly surprised by Pompeo’s announcement or what seems to be a sudden change in US foreign policy.
“What Pompeo is announcing is not a rupture in US foreign policy, but a culmination of it,” she said, adding that since 1967 the U.S. has “spoken out of both sides of its mouth.”
On the one hand, the US has maintained, until now, that settlements are inconsistent with international law and counterproductive to the peace process, but “out of the other side of its mouth, the US has provided Israel with unequivocal military, financial, and diplomatic aid in order to continue that settlement process.”
The blogger Mysterioso
The obvious solution: Palestinians and Jews return to their actual homelands, i.e., Palestinians return to Palestine, the lands between the River and the Sea where prior to about 1,250,000 being brutally dispossessed and expelled by Zionist Jews of foreign origin, they and their ancestors had lived continuously for at least 15,000 years and Jews return to Poland, Russia, Europe, the U.S., etc., their lands of origin.
Lonely Rico to Pompeio
Right again Mike. There will be a resolution to the conflict only when the US stops its unconditional support for the cruel racist Israeli repression of the indigenous people of Palestine.