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.
Tag Archives: Israeli Settlements
Over 100 House Democrats decry the Trump administration’s new settlement policy. However, the majority of House Democrats declined to sign.
For Christian Zionists, the settlements have never been illegal because God’s law supersedes international law—and now, it seems, so do the laws of Israel and the United States.
If supporters of a two-state solution are unable or unwilling to come up with a plan then Israel, with the full support and encouragement of the Trump administration, will very soon have the distinction of being not just the world’s only Jewish state, but the world’s only apartheid state as well.
The Trump administration’s declaration supporting Israeli settlements has elicited some progressive outrage, but not in Israel. Liberal Zionists should take note.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Monday that the US was revoking the notion that settlements are illegal under international law. “What Pompeo is announcing is not a rupture in US foreign policy, but a culmination of it,” explains human rights lawyer Noura Erakat.
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.
The European Union’s highest court has ruled that products made in Israeli settlements must be clearly labeled as such when being sold on shelves in EU countries.
Israeli defense ministry officials want to upend the definition in international law of the settlements as a war crime by allowing settlers buy as private property the plots of occupied land their illegal homes currently stand on.
In an interview with Israeli press, US Ambassador David Friedman indicated support for maintaining Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank when he said evacuations of Jews or Arabs as part of a US peace plan would be “inhumane.”
In August, a group of GOP lawmakers quietly went on a tour of West Bank settlements sponsored by a right-wing Evangelical organization. Following the tour they spoke on the floor of the House about why they now oppose the two-state solution.
Since returning to Palestine last year after studying in the U.S., Hareth Yousef has been exploring the mountains and lands around Kobar, his family’s ancestral village in the West Bank. On one of those hikes he visited an abandoned farm known as Katilia, which his grandparents used to plant before an Israeli settlement known as Nahliel was built near there in 1984. Yousef writes about these trips, and what they have meant to him and his family.
Israel has advanced plans for more than 2,300 illegal settlement units deep in the occupied West Bank, Israeli settlement watchdog Peace Now has reported. These new units come just one week after the Israeli security cabinet announced it would be approving 715 permits for Palestinian construction in Area C of the West Bank, a move that was largely seen as a policy shift towards extending Israel’s sovereignty in the territory.
Israeli police forced out the Siyam family from their home in the heart of occupied East Jerusalem last week, the final chapter in their 25-year legal battle against a powerful settler organisation. The family’s defeat represented much more than just another eviction. It was intended to land a crushing blow against the hopes of some 20,000 Palestinians living in the shadow of the Old City walls and Al Aqsa mosque.
Airbnb has caved into political and economic pressure from Israel, including a class action suit, following its earlier announced decision to pull out of illegal Israeli settlements. It has now declared it will continue doing business there.
Back in 1983, a settler leader explained to the writer Amos Oz that Defense Minister Shimon Peres had allowed the settler movement to thrive in the West Bank and they only needed to get to 100,000 settlers in five years to end the possibility of a Palestinian state “for good.” So why has the US establishment ignored this truth — there will not be a two-state solution — for 30 years?
A new Amnesty International report titled “Destination: Occupation” examines how Airbnb, Booking.com, Expedia, and TripAdvisor are “contributing to, and profiting from, the maintenance, development and expansion of illegal settlements, which amount to war crimes under international criminal law.”
It has been very hard to understands what Airbnb’s actual policy concerning illegal Israeli settlement listings is. A statement in Hebrew was issued saying it halted the ban policy, and was later contradicted by another saying it had not changed, and that this is all “incredibly complex and emotional.”
Airbnb’s pulling of listings in Israeli illegal settlements in the West Bank is highly selective. But Israeli leaders are viewing it as a total attack on Israel, and have plans to punish Airbnb. They are making the case for a comprehensive boycott of Israel as a whole, per the BDS campaign; for the government is utterly dedicated to the settlement enterprise.
In an effort to legalize thousands of settler homes in West Bank, the Israeli government audaciously claims that it can “legislate anywhere in the world”, that it is “entitled to violate the sovereignty of foreign countries”, and that “is allowed to ignore the directives of international law in any field it desires”.
Speaking of Palestinian genocide is acceptable in Israeli discourse. Israeli PM Netanyahu lately published support for Avihai Boaron, an extreme settler who has blamed moderate rabbis for shirking their duty to create death camps for “Amalekites” — enemies of the Jewish people.
Ron Brummer from Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs and Hasbara, recently confirmed that there is no separate economic system for Israel inside the occupation and outside it. “If you want to divest from the West Bank… you have to divest from Israel.” This is clarifying. Liberal Zionists who have supported settlement boycotts only need to choose sides. Are they for freedom or apartheid?
Former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak bemoans that the left is not sufficiently represented in celebrations of Israel’s 1967 occupation and settlement. He brags about all the leading “left” wing politicians and generals who acted to “liberate” those territories for Jews.
In an interview with the “burning Zionist” Jonathan Møller Sousa on Danish media, non-Zionist Jonathan Ofir shows that the two-state solution has been made impossible by Israeli colonization of occupied territories, and that occupation is actually manageable. All because the international community does nothing to enforce its demands.
A new Israeli law bars entry to those involved in boycotting Israel and criminalizes even those who have supported a ‘partial’ boycott targeting settlements. Activists and organizations, even the liberal Zionist ones who have supported boycott of settlements, now have to ask themselves: If Israel does not differentiate between itself and its occupied territories, if Israel bars entry to any foreigner who boycotts (even if they are Zionist), why should the boycotters make the differentiation between Israel and its settlements?