Friday, February 03, 2017

Trump on Israeli Settlements

Trump on Israeli Settlements

by Stephen Lendman

Under international law, Israeli settlements are flagrantly illegal. Fourth Geneva prohibits “(i)ndividual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory to the territory of the Occupying Power or to that of any other country, occupied or not, are prohibited, regardless of their motive.”

Numerous UN resolutions affirmed the illegality of Israeli settlements. There’s no ambiguity on this issue, nor about how Palestinians are ruthlessly persecuted.

Occupied Palestine belongs to the Palestinians, not Israel. Not according to Trump, pre-election saying “I don’t think there should be a pause” in settlement construction. “I think Israel really has to keep going. They have to keep moving forward…”(N)obody will be more loyal to Israel than Donald Trump.”

A separate article explained he warned Palestinians against suing Israel in the International Criminal Court (ICC) or International Court of Justice (ICJ).

He threatened severe steps for proceeding, including cutting off aid, closing PLO offices in Washington, even restoring the organization to terrorist group status, one-sidedly supporting Israel, contemptuous of fundamental Palestinian rights.

Yet on February 2, a statement from Trump’s press secretary said “(t)he American desire for peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians has remained unchanged for 50 years.” 

“While 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.” 

“As the President has expressed many times, he hopes to achieve peace throughout the Middle East region.” 

“The Trump administration has not taken an official position on settlement activity and looks forward to continuing discussions, including with Prime Minister Netanyahu when he visits with President Trump later this month.”

Fact: America and Israel partner in each other’s wars. Both countries deplore peace and stability. Their actions speak for themselves. One rogue state supports the other. Their alliance threatens humanity.

Fact: Settlements prevent peaceful conflict resolution. It persists because Israel keeps stealing Palestinian land, along with its other high crimes of war and against humanity.

Fact: Israel and Washington seek Palestinian surrender - Oslo 2.0, Israeli terms alone acceptable, fundamental Palestinian rights ignored, a prescription for endless conflict.

Fact: The Trump administration’s policy on settlements is unlimited construction while, claiming it has “no official position” on this issue.

Fact: Trump’s key advisors on Israel are zionist zealots - David Friedman, his announced ambassador, Jason Greenblat, his chief international negotiator, and Jared Kushner, his son-in-law.

The president spoke to Netanyahu by phone before any other foreign leader. On February 15, both leaders will meet at the White House, Trump press secretary Sean Spicer announced it, saying:

“Our relationship with the only democracy (sic) in the Middle East is crucial to the security of both our nations, and the president looks forward to discussing continuous strategic, technological, military and intelligence cooperation with the prime minister” - Iran likely to top the list of topics. 

A Final Comment

Separately, as expected, the Treasury Department imposed new illegal sanctions on Iran, targeting 13 individuals and 12 entities, some based in the UAE, Lebanon and China.

A senior US official said new sanctions are “just initial steps in response to Iranian provocative behavior.”

Treasury Department Office of Foreign Assets Control acting director John E. Smith said “(t)oday’s action is part of (the administration’s) ongoing efforts to counter Iranian malign activity abroad that is outside the scope of the JCPOA” nuclear deal.

“We will continue to actively apply all available tools, including financial sanctions, to address this behavior.”

On Thursday, Trump said “nothing is off the table,” responding to a question on whether he’ll consider military action.

Ahead of Friday’s announced sanctions, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Tehran “is unmoved by threats as we derive security from our people. We will never use our weapons against anyone except in self-defense.”

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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