In historic move, US spurns international community and deems Israeli settlements “legal”

The declaration by the United States this week that Israeli settlements are legal and legitimate marked a significant policy change and a historic moment, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.

“This is a very great day for the State of Israel and an achievement that will stand for generations. The Trump administration has corrected a historical injustice and lined up with truth and justice.”

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the policy change, which is largely symbolic, on Monday. America previously considered Israeli building activity over the pre-1967 lines as illegitimate, as does the rest of the world.

“After carefully studying all sides of the legal debate” the United States has concluded that “the establishment of Israeli civilian settlements in the West Bank is not, per se, inconsistent with international law. Calling the establishment of civilian settlements inconsistent with international law hasn’t worked. It hasn’t advanced the cause of peace.” —U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

Palestinians claim that settlements are illegal and prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state while Israel maintains that their status should be determined in negotiations.

But here is what the average person doesn’t know. This is not Palestinian land. It could have been, but in 1947, when the United Nations passed the Partition Plan (to partition the region into two new states—one Arab and one Jewish) the Palestinian Arabs rejected it! The Jewish Palestinians* accepted it.

After the Israeli War of Independence, Jordan took the land that is now the West Bank. But they never annexed it. It never became Jordan. So, when Israel took it from Jordan in 1967, it still was unclassified territory or disputed territory, as we refer to it in Israel. It has never occupied territory. Beyond that, it was the bread basket of ancient Israel. Ezekiel calls the area the Mountains of Israel. No one has had a longer, more consistent presence in the West Bank than the Israelites.

Since President Donald Trump took office he has made significant pro-Israel moves including recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, relo