Israel is ignoring “the condemnations of its allies and moved” to “advance plans for new West Bank settler homes, for what is expected to be a total package of 10,000 new units.” An article from the Jerusalem Post states:
The rising international anger over settlements, with condemnations from the European Union as well as neighboring Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, has not determined Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from the pursuit of settlement activity, which he and his government view as a response to the rising terror attacks.
In stark contrast to the Trump administration once again, the latest pressure on Israel to acquiesce to Palestinian demands is coming from the Biden administration:
US State Department spokesman Ned Price on Monday said that the Biden administration was working together with Israel’s allies to jointly express their collective displeasure over settlement activity.
Israel is a sovereign nation that has been under threat of obliteration from the day of its birth and has courageously demonstrated its unwillingness to surrender to foreign interference, including that of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which is often used as a legal source with which Israel can be beaten down. However, as a free country with an independent judiciary, “Israeli courts have confirmed the legality of certain settlement activities.”
Despite the global gang-up against Israel, which only encourages jihad terror against Israeli citizens, not all international scholars agree with the ICJ’s opinion that the settlements violate international law. An American jurist, international judge, counsel and arbitrator, Stephen Schwebel, asserts that “Israel had a more legitimate claim on Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip than its adversaries.” Schwebel is also a former president of the International Court of Justice. Northwestern University Professor of Law Eugene Kontorovich, a renowned expert in constitutional law and international law, also makes a sound legal case for Israel’s position on settlements. He notes that Israel is not “an unlawful occupying power—certainly not according to any binding international laws.” He also takes into consideration “the historical complexities of the issue and the legal circumstances,” while noting the hypocrisy of the international community:
Kontorovich noted the double standards that have politicized international law, and undermined its integrity. Only Israel’s actions in the West Bank are deemed unlawful and worthy of boycott, even as plenty of other countries—including America—have occupied territories and enabled their citizens to live in them. Kontorovich points to over a dozen other cases (e.g., Morocco’s occupation of Western Sahara; Turkey’s occupation of Northern Cyprus) along with a few that are less well known, like the U.S. occupation of West Berlin which ended in 1990.
The ICJ and the International Criminal Court (ICC) have firmly defended Palestinian interests. The ICJ is a civil tribunal that hears disputes between countries, while the ICC is a criminal tribunal that prosecutes individuals. The Palestinians secured their influence in both, underhandedly, long ago. For instance, on December 31, 2014, the Palestinians announced that they were joining the ICC with the specific intention to pursue war crimes investigations and charges against Israel. Their announcement came a day after the UN Security Council voted down a resolution setting a three-year deadline for the establishment of a Palestinian state on lands that the UN regards as “occupied” by Israel. In response to the disappointment, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas stated: “We want to complain. There’s aggression against us, against our land. The Security Council disappointed us.” Then came the ploy to join the ICC, and only three months later, it was a done deal. The Palestinians “formally joined” the ICC, an act that the BBC described as “a key step towards being able to pursue Israelis for alleged war crimes.”
The Trump Administration firmly stood by Israel. On November 18, 2019, Secretary of State Michael Pompeo stated in reference to so-called illegal settlements, with regard to the ICJ:
The idea that settlements are illegal derives primarily from UN resolutions and the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which is an arm of the UN. The UN does not make legal determinations, only political ones. The ICJ “does not have jurisdiction over all disputes between UN member-states,” according to the Congressional Research Service. In fact, “with the exception of ‘advisory opinions,’ which are non-binding, the ICJ may only resolve legal disputes between nations that voluntarily agreed to its jurisdiction.”
Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan, is now calling “on the international community to condemn the latest terror attacks against Israeli civilians in the strongest and unequivocal terms. Those abhorrent crimes are being encouraged and applauded by the Palestinian Authority and Palestinian terror groups such as Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and PFLP among others.”
Yet the condemnation of Israel that is coming from America, Germany, France, Italy and the United Kingdom encourages jihad aggression. It empowers the jihadi cause and the false belief that Israel has no right to build on its own ancient land. Whenever jihadists strike Israel with rocket fire and murder its citizens, the message is sent that the jihadists were provoked by Israeli enormities. Israel’s critics, however, will prove to be on the wrong side of history. Every major political organization that is governing the Palestinians plainly states its intention of obliterating Israel. This is consistent with an Islamic vision of full conquest of the Middle East. At the United Nations in 2018, Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) foreign ministers adopted a statement demanding respect for Islam. The Palestinian Ambassador to the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, is now not unexpectedly stirring up even further international animosity against Israel, and demanding action against Israel from the UN Security Council. The UN long ago established firm ties with the OIC. UN Secretary-General António Guterres has declared that ties linking the UN and the OIC are based on a “shared belief in cooperation, dialogue, solidarity.” Those ties have strengthened in the past few years, reflected in vigorous antagonism against Israel.
In 2021, the OIC went to the UN and called upon it to “take serious measures to hold Israel accountable.” Then in March 2022, the UN designated March 15 the “International Day to Combat Islamophobia.” As Iranian Shia cleric Ayatollah Ali Reza A’arafi, who is currently a member of the Guardian Council and also a member of the Assembly of Experts, put it: “Palestine has turned into a symbol of Islamic unity and resistance.”
Israel has no other choice but to defend its interests in the face of enemies which have effectively waged an international propaganda campaign against it.