The world of the international rule of law and human rights went into shock this week, when Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the White House is reversing longstanding US policy by no longer considering Israel’s racist settlements to be illegal.
“The establishment of Israeli civilian settlements in the West Bank is not, per se, inconsistent with international law,” Pompeo announced on Monday.New US policy on Israel’s settlements changes nothing.
Pompeo jumped through hoops to explain at his press conference how various administrations have treated the settlement issue differently. Democratic presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama said they are illegal, while Republicans Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush and now Donald Trump have said they are not. Yet, despite the political back and forth, the truth is that these words mean nothing on the ground.
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