U.S. finally admits Israel has a right to build in Judea & Samaria

The U.S. finally gets this right. It took way too long.

After four decades of being wrong, U.S. finally admits Israel has a right to build West Bank settlements anywhere in Israel

The move of the embassy to Jerusalem was largely symbolic, although the symbolism was important.

In a substantive policy sense, this is a lot more important:

Pompeo said U.S. statements about the settlements on the West Bank, which Israel captured in 1967, had been inconsistent, saying Democratic President Jimmy Carter found they were not consistent with international law and Republican President Ronald Reagan said he did not view them as inherently illegal.

Continued below the fold.

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“The establishment of Israeli civilian settlements is not, per se, inconsistent with international law,” Pompeo told reporters at the State Department, reversing a formal legal position taken by the United States under Carter in 1978.

His announcement drew praise from Netanyahu, who said it “rights a historical wrong,” and condemnation from Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, who said Washington was threatening “to replace international law with the ‘law of the jungle.’”

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If the Palestinians don’t like the law of the jungle, maybe they should tell other Middle Eastern countries to stop attacking Israel. Because when you start a war and you lose, you tend to lose territory in the bargain. Coming back later and demanding it back will usually get you laughed at, unless of course you start a war with Israel.

Then the United Nations will back your play even though it’s patently ridiculous.

Let’s not forget the history here, because the history shows how absurd the U.S. position has been for 40 years. Israel captured the West Bank in the Six-Day War of 1967. That was when Egypt and a handful of other countries launched a sneak attack on Israel.

The sneak attack did not go well, and Israel decisively beat back the attacking forces. In the course of successfully defending itself, Israel captured the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights, all of which were seen as important strategic buffers against future attacks.

The Palestinians and “peace process” types have tended to refer to these as the “occupied territories,” but as far as the Israelis are concerned, they’ve been annexed and are now part of Israel. That’s what happens when you start a war. You might lose, and you might end up with less of a country than you had before. If you’re not prepared for that, don’t start a war unless you’re 100 percent sure you’ll win.

Israel’s building of settlements in these areas drew widespread condemnation because the rest of the world labored under the illusion that Israel was just hanging onto them for a while, and would eventually give them back. No. Israel’s not giving them back.

For decades, successive U.S. administrations condemned the building of the settlements because diplomats kept telling them it would inflame the Palestinians to do otherwise, and that this would disrupt the “peace process.” This is a long-time staple of America’s insistence on being “even-handed” in dealing with the Israelis and the Palestinians instead of throwing its weight four-square behind our ally Israel.

The Trump Administration has now finally done with previous administrations of both parties refused to do for whatever reason. You will surely hear a lot of hand-wringing about how this will jeopardize the “peace process.”

I would like to ask a question: What, exactly, has the “peace process” accomplished over the course of 50 years? What agreement has held? When have Palestinian terror attacks stopped for any significant length of time? When has anyone even hinted at the notion that Israel has a right to exist?

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The “peace process” is a joke. It’s mainly American presidents and Secretaries of State trying to win themselves Nobel Peace Prizes while chasing after worthless pieces of paper that cannot change the fact that one group of people wants another group of people dead. The “peace process” is absurd.

Building settlements in the West Bank, by contrast, is Israel’s right because the West Bank is part of Israel. I hope the Israelis who decide to live there are safe and prosperous, and that America is finally getting serious about treating this good ally as it deserves to be treated.

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