The Trump administration recently announced that it does not consider Israeli settlements as “per se illegal.” The American Human Rights Council (AHRC-USA) reminds everyone that the Israeli settlements are illegal under international law. This has been the US position for 41 years and is the position of the UN and all other international powers. The US does not have the position to change international law on the status of occupied land and the powers of the occupier.

We consider this dubious announcement a transparent attempt to bolster Prime Minister Netanyahu’s position in domestic Israeli politics. According to several media reports, Prime Minister Netanyahu was indicted today for fraud, bribery and most importantly, for breach of trust. This new development serves as another reminder of why Michigan Governor Whitmer’s trip to Israel was in the wrong timing. The trip shores up a dishonest and divisive politician who uses international visitors in desperate attempt for good media coverage that will overshadow his legal troubles. The visit has been rightly criticized by a wide spectrum of peace- loving Americans, including Michigan’s Arab and Muslim Americans, many of whom voted for governor Whimter and have no doubts regarding her integrity and commitment to equal human rights and dignity to everyone.

It is also motivated by the need to excite a segment of the American population that supports Israel unconditionally for reasons completely detached from concerns for peace and human rights.

“The recent US position on the illegal settlements is playing politics, domestic Israeli and American, with international law, peace and human rights,” said Imad Hamad, AHRC Executive Directive. “It is the same political expediency that is not concerned with human rights and democratic values that we see in domestic politics, such as on immigration,” added Hamad. “The recent announcement will not advance peace or human rights,” concluded Hamad.
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