Israeli settlements

Updated November 21, 2019

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EVER since the establishment of the state of Israel, most US governments — both Democrat and Republican — have maintained a policy of steadfastly supporting Tel Aviv regardless of its atrocious behaviour towards the Palestinians. But few American administrations have backed Israel’s atrocities as openly as the Trump White House has.

Whether it was the recognition of the holy city of Jerusalem as Israel’s ‘capital’, or accepting the illegal Israeli occupation of Syria’s Golan Heights as valid — all flying in the face of international opinion — Mr Trump and his team have spared no effort to humiliate the Arabs and reward Tel Aviv for its land grab. The latest in this long list of one-sided moves is the statement of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in which he has bestowed America’s blessings on illegal Israeli settlements. The establishment of such settlements in the West Bank “is not per se inconsistent with international law”, said Mr Pompeo, while adding in the same statement that the US “remains deeply committed to helping facilitate peace” between Palestine and Israel. How stabbing the Arabs in the heart by allowing Israel to occupy their land can facilitate peace is only something America’s top diplomat can answer.

The fact is that the US has hardly ever been an honest broker in the Arab-Israeli conflict. But under Mr Trump’s watch, all pretence of neutrality has been dropped, which has had deadly implications for the Palestinians. Knowing that the world’s sole superpower will cover for them, Israel’s establishment has pulled out all the stops in expropriating Palestinian land, and shedding Arab blood without compunction. While the UN and EU have both opposed the annexation of illegal settlements, there appears to be little the international community can do other than express ‘regret’ over Israel’s behaviour. The Zionist state — particularly the right-wingers within the Israeli power structure — is doing everything it can to kill the two-state solution. With no hope of a viable state, the Palestinians will continue to resist and face the ugly reaction of the Israeli military machine.

Published in Dawn, November 21st, 2019