Public Comment

Israeli Settlements

Jagjit Singh
Friday November 18, 2016 - 01:37:00 PM

Right-wing Israeli politicians eager to capitalize on Trump’s election gave preliminary approval to a bill that would retroactively legalize illegal settlements built in the West Bank. The bill was rushed through the Israeli parliament to forestall the demolition of an illegal outpost by 25 December.  

Education Minister, Naftali Bennett, expressed his disdain for international law boasting “the era of the Palestinian state is over.” 

Israel’s defense minister, Avigdor Lieberman, went even further urging his government to negotiate a deal with the Trump administration to approve expanded construction in major West Bank settlements. Prime Minister Netanyahu and his Attorney General, Avichai Mandelblit, oppose the bill warning that it violates international law. This development is a monumental failure of successive US administrations who have failed to broker a peaceful two-state settlement. Billions of US tax funds have been squandered rewarding Israel for their bad behavior. 

Senator Patrick Leahy, denounced Israel’s blatant theft of Palestinian land stating, “One of the most effective ways that ISIS and other terrorist groups have attracted recruits is by tarring the United States with Israel’s expanding occupation of the West Bank. This legislation to retroactively legalize illegal settlements will be welcomed by those murderous groups as further evidence that America’s closest ally in the region is bent on destroying a peaceful solution, including the possibility of a Palestinian state.” 

Let us hope that President-Elect Trump will use his deal making skills to broker a peaceful and equitable solution to the festering Israeli-Palestinian conflict.