Trump Admin Kills Left's Main Line of Attack on Israel
This is big. Very big.
The Left's main line of attack on Israel was that the towns in the parts of the country that had been captured by Islamic colonial forces in '48 and liberated by Israel in '67 were "settlements". And these "settlements" were illegal. Muslims living anywhere in Israel wasn't illegal. It wasn't illegal for Qatar to develop areas for Muslims inside Israel. But there was an insistence that this was "illegal" for Israel under international law.
That's been the position of too many presidential administrations. Now it's being tossed out.
In a historic reversal of US policy, the Trump administration announced on Monday that it does not view Israeli settlements in the West Bank as illegal. The policy change was announced by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington.
“After carefully studying all sides of the legal debate, this administration agrees with President Reagan,” Pompeo said in reference to Ronald Reagan’s position that settlements were not inherently illegal. “The establishment of Israeli civilian settlements in the West Bank is not per se inconsistent with international law,” Pompeo said.
Pompeo said that the new announcement was not about specific settlements about which there still could be specific legal questions. “The Israeli legal system affords an opportunity to challenge settlement activity and assess humanitarian considerations,” he said.
America, Pompeo said, was also not prejudging the ultimate status of the West Bank. That, he said, would need to be worked out by the sides. In addition, he stressed that the new policy was not applicable to other situations around the world.
The US policy, Pompeo said, was “based on the unique facts, history and circumstances presented by the establishment of civilian settlements in the West Bank.”
The Israeli Prime Minister's office tweeted, "This policy reflects an historical truth - that the Jewish people are not foreign colonialists in Judea and Samaria. In fact, we are called Jews because we are the people of Judea."
This is a direct response to Europe's move to increase pressure on Israel by targeting Israeli goods from these areas. And it's another unprecedented show of support and a reminder that the United States is no longer wedded to the "Palestinian" cause for the first time in generations.