Trump Administration Takes Reckless Approach To Israeli West Bank
It has only four days since Donald Trump’s inauguration and already the consequences of his presidency are being felt around the world. From the threats of a trade war with China to the ongoing uncertainty regarding Russian involvement in the hacking scandal that plighted the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton during November’s election, his first four days have certainly had an impact globally. However, one of the most distressing incidents to take place since Friday’s inauguration has been the Israeli encroachment into the West Bank – a move that is likely to receive very little resistance from President Trump.
Israel’s decision to expand its settlements into the West Bank through the construction of 2,500 housing units is both a violation of the recent UN Security Council resolution as well as a statement of where US-Israeli relations stand under President Trump. It appears that Israel is no longer worried about US condemnation for what is a clear violation of international law. The expansion of Israeli settlements in the Palestinian-claimed territory is one of the major stumbling blocks for the maintenance and progression of the peace process in the region and also places further question marks on the viability of a two-state solution ever becoming a reality.
When Trump’s Press Secretary Sean Spicer was questioned about the Israel’s encroachment into the West Bank on Tuesday, he simply replied:
“Israel continues to be a huge ally of the United States”
“(Trump) wants to grow closer with Israel to make sure that it gets the full respect that it deserves in the Middle East.
This response is in keeping with what appears to be a very Pro-Israel stance from President Trump. In fact, his ambassador to the country, David Friedman is seriously considering the prospect of moving the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Those plans have not been finalized. One thing that is certain however is Friedman’s views on a two-state solution. The lawyer who was also a president of a fund-raising arm of the settlement movement in the West Bank has dismissed the notion out of hand.
How US-Israel relations develop under President Trump remains to be seen but if the first week of his presidency is any indication of things to come then it looks like further encroachments and violations of this nature may be the norm rather than the exception.
Photo Credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images
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