Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Trump OK With Israeli Legislation Authorizing Palestinian Land Theft

Trump OK With Israeli Legislation Authorizing Palestinian Land Theft 

by Stephen Lendman

Trump’s one-sided support for Israel approves of apartheid ruthlessness far worse than South Africa’s - a rogue state committing slow-motion genocide against millions of Palestinians, besides its many other daily high crimes.

The latest example was Monday’s legislation. A final reading of the so-called Resolution Law retroactively approved around 4,000 illegally built settler outpost homes on privately owned Palestinian land - confiscating it for exclusive Jewish occupation and use.

Israel’s Supreme Court may have final say - or will it? Knesset authorization by a 60 - 52 margin could be overturned by High Court action. Yet Israel, especially under Netanyahu, has a notorious history of ignoring its rulings which reject regime policy, finding devious ways to circumvent them.

Knesset debate was over whether the West Bank and East Jerusalem belong to Jews or its original inhabitants. The law blocks demolition of illegally built settler homes.

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit opposed the legislation, calling it a first-time in Israeli history step too far, warning it breaches core Fourth Geneva protections afforded occupied populations.

The measure’s original purpose was to overturn a High Court ruling, prohibiting expropriation of privately owned Palestinian land by Amona outpost settlers. The clause was removed in the bill’s final reading.

Last week, Amona settlers were removed from land they had no right to occupy. In London when Monday’s measure was passed, ahead of his visit to Washington next week, Netanyahu said he “act(ed) according to the national interest” - ignoring the illegality of Knesset action.

UN Middle East peace envoy Nickolay Mladenov warned of significant legal implications for Israel, along with dashing hopes for peace.

“All core issues should be resolved between the parties through direct negotiations on the basis of relevant Security Council resolutions and mutual agreements,” he stressed.

A White House statement refused comment on the Resolution Law, saying it needs to “have a chance to fully consult with all parties on the way forward.”

Last week, it said “(w)hile we don’t believe the existence of settlements is an impediment to peace, the construction of new settlements or the expansion of existing settlements beyond their current borders may not be helpful in achieving that goal.”

Israel took the statement as approval to keep building, no likely Trump administration opposition forthcoming.

On Monday, the State Department said “at this point, indications are that this legislation is likely to be reviewed by the relevant Israeli courts, and the Trump administration will withhold comment on the legislation until the relevant court ruling.”

Abbas spokesman Nabil Abu Rdeneh condemned the law, calling it a scheme to “legalize theft” of Palestinian land, adding:

“This is an escalation that would only lead to more instability and chaos. It is unacceptable. It is denounced and the international community should act immediately.”

Attorney General Mendelblit’s refusal to defend the law if challenged in court is clear evidence of its illegality.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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