American bias - GulfToday

American bias

Settlements-Israel

The US move to approve new Jewish settlements is detrimental to peace efforts.

I am angry but not surprised by America’s pro-Israeli and anti-Palestinian steps.

Washington’s decision to back Israel’s right to build Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank by abandoning its four-decade-old position that they were “inconsistent with international law” is certainly an insult to the international community and an outrageous act.

The decision will make peace between Israelis and Palestinians much more difficult.

As your editorial points out, it is good the United Nations human rights office has made it unambiguously clear that Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territory remain in breach of international law, rejecting the Donald Trump administration’s position that it now backed them.

The International Court of Justice, in an advisory opinion issued in 2004, clearly declared that Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem, were established in breach of international law.

“The United States is neither qualified nor is authorised to negate international legitimacy resolutions and it has no right to give any legitimacy to Israeli settlement,” as Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, pointed out.

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat has also rightly stated that the Trump administration is threatening to replace international law with the “law of the jungle.”

This is not the first time. A series of actions taken by the Trump administration has clearly been in favour of Israel and none in support of the Palestinian cause.

The halting of funds to the UNRWA, recognising occupied Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, relocating US embassy from Tel Aviv to occupied Jerusalem, refusing to restrain Israel from illegally expanding settlements are just a few among such moves hostile to Palestinians.   The only consolation is there are some sane voices too. Like that of Martin Indyk, a former US peace negotiator, who described the decision on Twitter as a totally gratuitous move. “Why slap the Palestinians in the face again? Why boost the settlement/annexation movement at the very moment that Gantz is trying to form a government?”

The problem is Washington is unlikely to change its ways. But like Saeb Erekat mentioned: “They wanted us on our knees and they used every trick — internally, externally, regionally — to put pressure on us. We stand tall and we will stand tall.”

Farhan Ahmed

By email

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