Israel Wants Illegal Settlements Annexed
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org - Home - Stephen Lendman)
Israeli hardliners already considers them part of the Jewish state, formal annexation in the cards.
Expanding them continues on stolen Palestinian land. Confining them to isolated bantustans reflects longstanding Israeli policy, ethnically cleansing them from areas it wants for exclusive Jewish development and use.
Netanyahu was quoted saying "I can tell you that for a while now I've been talking about (annexation) with the Americans," adding:
"I'm guided by two principles in this issue - optimal coordination with the Americans, whose relationship with us is a strategic asset for Israel and the settlement movement; and the fact that it must be a government initiative rather than a private one because it would be a historic move."
Under international law, settlements and horrific mistreatment of Palestinians are flagrantly illegal.
Sunday during an interview with billionaire Sheldon Adelson's Israel Hayon broadsheet, Trump surprisingly said "settlements are something that very much complicates and always have complicated making peace, so I think Israel has to be very careful with the settlements."
It's a different position than he took earlier, perhaps to try jumpstarting dead-on-arrival talks whenever initiated, Palestinians rejecting him as an honest broker.
Recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's exclusive capital further showed Washington one-sidedly favors Israel, consistently spurning Palestinian rights.
Dominant Knesset hardliners are discussing legislation to annex illegal settlements - the so-called Sovereignty Law. Draft legislation says in part:
"In the 70th year of the rebirth of the State of Israel and after the 50th anniversary of the return of the Jewish people to its historic homeland in Judea and Samaria (West Bank)…we move to designate the status of these territories as an inseparable part of the sovereign State of Israel."
The move would be hugely controversial, few if any nations likely to recognize it. Joint (Arab) List MK Ayman Odeh condemned the possibility, saying:
Netanyahu "said out loud, clearly today what we have known for years; that the Israeli government opposes peace and supports apartheid," adding:
"The Netanyahu government's web of lies are being torn apart when the prime minister declares that he is interested in annexing the West Bank, but of course not to grant citizenship to the millions of Palestinians living there."
"This is a wake-up call to the international community and to the citizens of the state who aspire to live in peace."
"We are in the final moments when the vision of two states is still possible. We must stop Netanyahu's settler government."
Two states were once possible. No longer. Israel controls around 70% of West Bank land. It claims Jerusalem as its exclusive capital.
It never negotiates with Palestinians in good faith. It demands, wanting them subjugated in perpetuity, self-determination and other fundamental rights denied.
Equitable Israeli/Palestinian peace in our time is pure illusion. Washington and Israel reject it. Longstanding unresolved final status issues are off the table.
They include ending occupation, self-determination, settlements, borders, diaspora Palestinians right of return, borders, air, water and resource rights, and East Jerusalem as Palestine's exclusive capital.
Oslo left them unresolved in 1993. A generation later they're further out-of-reach than earlier. Former Israeli defense minister Moshe Ya'alon once said Jews have "an unassailable right (to) settle anywhere, particularly here, (in) the land of the Bible," adding:
The peace process is a useful fiction. It "sear(s) deep into the consciousness of Palestinians that they are a defeated people."
Former Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Shamir said he wanted talks dragged out for a decade to give Israel maximum time to expand settlements.
Netanyahu once called peace talks "a waste of time." It remains unattainable because Washington and Israel want Palestinians subjugated, not liberated - ghettoized in isolated cantons on worthless scrubland.
Judaizing all valued parts of Judea and Samaria reflects longstanding Israeli policy, with full support and encouragement from Washington - continuing the illusion of Israeli/Palestinian peace in our time.
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