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Israeli Settlements

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After countless delays, the UN released the highly-anticipated database of companies that operate in Israel’s hundreds of illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank. Among the international businesses listed are several companies in the travel industry previously known to operate in settlements, like Airbnb, Booking.com, Expedia, and TripAdvisor. American food manufacturer General Mills and telecommunications giant Motorola Inc. are also on the list.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib addressing the House of Representatives on H.Res.326.

The vote last week on H.Res.326 reveals Congress to be more divided than ever in its approach to the Israeli-Palestinian issue. Almost all Republicans now back Israel’s one-state apartheid rule over the Palestinian people, whereas most Democrats still give lip-service to Palestinian statehood without being willing to pressure Israel toward this end. However, Josh Ruebner writes that things are changing for the better within the Democratic caucus as a few Representatives bravely challenge the two-state paradigm and test the waters for conditioning aid to Israel.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s announcement this afternoon that the Trump administration no longer regards West Bank and East Jerusalem settlements as illegal under international law, thereby repudiating global opinion and 50 years of U.S. policy, was widely condemned, including by presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. The AP laid the decision at the feet of Sheldon Adelson, Trump’s biggest donor.