Pompeo’s declaration that the settlements are not illegal is consistent with Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Congress H.Res.11 and the Oslo Accords. The Congress passed H.Res.11 asking for Obama’s UNSC 2334 (which calls the settlements illegal) to be “repealed or fundamentally altered.” The US should stop funding the UN until it complies

Pompeo’s declaration that the settlements are not illegal is consistent with Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Congress H.Res.11 and the Oslo Accords. The Congress passed H.Res.11 asking for Obama’s UNSC 2334 (which calls the settlements illegal) to be “repealed or fundamentally altered.” The US should stop funding the UN until it complies
By Ezequiel Doiny

On November 18, 2019 the Jerusalem Post reported “In a historic reversal of US policy, the Trump administration announced on Monday that it does not view Israeli settlements in the West Bank as illegal. The policy change was announced by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington.
“After carefully studying all sides of the legal debate, this administration agrees with President Reagan,” Pompeo said in reference to Ronald Reagan’s position that settlements were not inherently illegal. “The establishment of Israeli civilian settlements in the West Bank is not per se inconsistent with international law,” Pompeo said.

https://m.jpost.com/Israel-News/West-Bank-settlements-not-illegal-US-decides-in-historic-US-policy-shift-608222

Saying that the settlements are illegal contradicts the policies of Bush and Clinton.

Bush wrote a letter to Sharon saying ” In light of new realities on the ground, including already existing major Israeli populations centers, it is unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949, and all previous efforts to negotiate a two-state solution have reached the same conclusion”
https://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/releases/2004/04/20040414-3.html

Itzhak Rabin (Oslo Accords) and Bill Clinton did not consider settlements to be illegal and did not require that Israel return all the land beyond the lines which existed before the Six Day War. Rabin said “We will not return to the 4 June 1967 lines.” Clinton said “I recommended 94 to 96 percent of the West Bank for the Palestinians…an understanding that the land kept by Israel would include 80 percent of the settlers in blocs…”
https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/the-clinton-peace-plan

Clinton’s Parameters for Peace(2000) do not consider settlements illegal and Clinton made it clear that the Jerusalem’s Jewish Quarter and the Western Wall would remain in Israel something he called “non negotiable”.

In his autobiography “My Life” Bill Clinton describes a conversation he had with Arafat when he was hosting a Palestinian-Israeli summit in Camp David in 2000: “…When Arafat came to see me, he asked a lot of questions about my proposal. He wanted Israel to have the Wailing Wall, because of its religious significance, but asserted that the remaining fifty feet of the Western Wall should go to the Palestinians. I told him he was wrong, that Israel should have the entire wall to protect itself from someone using one entrance of the tunnel that ran beneath the wall from damaging the remains of the temples beneath the Haram. The Old City has four quarters: Jewish, Muslim Christian, and Armenian. It was assumed that Palestine would get the Muslim and Christian quarters, with Israel getting the other two. Arafat argued that he should have a few blocks of the Armenian quarter because of the Christian churches there. I couldn’t believe he was talking to me about this….I said these parameters were nonnegotiable and were the best I could do…Arafat’s rejection of my proposal after Barak accepted it was an error of historic proportions…”

Source: Clinton, Bill. “My Life.” Vintage (2005). pp. 936-946.

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/president-clinton-reflects-on-2000-camp-david-summit

Declaring that Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria including Jerusalem’s Temple Mount and the Western Wall is “illegal” also violates the Oslo Accords.

According to the Oslo II Accords signed in 1995 between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (and brokered by the Quartet of which the US was a member) the West Bank is not “occupied Palestinian territory”.

Oslo II divided the “West Bank” in Areas A, B, C:

Area A – under full civil and security control by the Palestinian Authority): about 3% of the West Bank

Area B – under Palestinian civil control and joint Israeli-Palestinian security control: about 22% of the West Bank

Area C – under full Israeli civil and security control: initially about 72–74% of the West Bank
Calling the West Bank and Jerusalem’s Old City “Occupied Palestinian Territories” is a violation of the Oslo Accords. According to the Oslo II Accords “Neither side shall initiate or take any step that will change the status of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip pending the outcome of the permanent status negotiations.”

http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/ForeignPolicy/Peace/Guide/Pages/THE%20ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN%20INTERIM%20AGREEMENT.aspx

On December 23, 2016, by the end of his government, Obama allowed the approval of UNSC resolution 2334 calling the West Bank and Jerusalem’s Old City (including the Temple Mount and the Western Wall) “Occupied Palestinian Territories”.

Obama’s UNSC 2334 called the settlements “illegal” while before they were considered to be in “disputed territories” which outcome will be decided through direct negotiations as stated in the Oslo Accords.

The Oslo Accords rule that borders can only be decided as the outcome of direct negotiations and not through UNSC resolutions, UNSC 2334 violates the Oslo Accords.

On December 23, 2016 President Obama did not veto UNSC 2334. On May 14,2017 Newsmax reported “President Barack Obama told “60 Minutes” that he made the call for the U.S. to abstain from a vote on a U.N. Security council resolution condemning Israeli settlements, allowing the resolution to pass…The increase of those settlements, Obama told “60 Minutes,” has “gotten so substantial” that it is inhibiting the possibility for an “effective, contiguous Palestinian state.”

http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/US-Obama/2017/01/15/id/768685/

Before UNSC 2334 the approach to peace was the “Road Map” and the Palestinians were periodically meeting with Israel to advance peace negotiations, since UNSC 2334 was approved the Palestinians refuse to meet. UNSC 2334 killed the peace process. UNSC 2334 gave the Palestinians all the land they wanted including Jerusalem’s Temple Mount and the Western Wall, the Palestinians don’t want to make any concessions so they refuse to meet.

Before UNSC 2334 the “Quartet” including the EU and the US used to support the Oslo Accords (which do not demand a full Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and did not call settlements “illegal”), after UNSC 2334 the EU’s approach is not to mediate the peace process but to force Israel out of “occupied Palestinian lands” by imposing sanctions on Israel.

On November 14, 2019 Fox News reported “The State Department said Wednesday it’s “deeply concerned” by a new European Union requirement that goods produced in Israeli settlements must carry a specific label, saying that the ruling encourages the Boycott, Divestment and Sactions (BDS) movement.”
https://www.foxnews.com/politics/u-s-opposes-european-court-of-justice-ruling-to-label-settlement-products

Before UNSC 2334 Democrats in the US such as Bill Clinton did not call settlements illegal and did not demand a full withdrawal. Today leading Democrat candidates call to punish Israel by denying Israel military aid.

On November 6, 2019 Arutz 7 reported “Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, along with Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, recently have indicated a willingness to use American aid to force policy changes by Israel, including halting settlement construction. The United States gives Israel $3.8 billion annually in military assistance.”
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/271177

Netanyahu accused Obama of initiating UNSC 2334 demanding that it be passed. On December 27, 2016 John Walsh reported on IBTimes “Vice President Joe Biden is being accused of convincing Ukraine to vote in favor of the United Nations Resolution 2334 Friday that condemned Israel for building housing settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Israel’s Environmental Protection Minister Ze’ev Elkin told the Jerusalem Post Monday that Biden persuaded Ukrainian diplomats to vote yes on the measure, who would have reportedly abstained if he hadn’t.
A member of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s office told the Jerusalem Post that Biden had indeed called, but was unable to confirm whether or not their discussion involved the Friday U.N. vote…

Despite heavy pressure from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the U.S. to veto the measure, it abstained from voting, resulting in the U.N. Security Council approving the resolution with 14 votes to 0…
Netanyahu summoned Israel’s leading ambassador to the U.S. Daniel Shapiro Sunday while issuing harsh words for the Obama administration following the vote, CNN reported Monday.

“We have no doubt that the Obama administration initiated it, stood behind it, coordinated on the wording and demanded that it be passed,” Netanyahu said Sunday.”

https://www.ibtimes.com/un-resolution-2016-update-israel-accuses-biden-interfering-settlement-vote-2465842

The Obama administration lied about “massive settlement construction” to create an excuse to bury the Oslo agreements and abandon Israel in the UNSC. The settlements occupy only 1.7% of the West Bank but Obama lied that “…the increase of those settlements has gotten so substantial that it is inhibiting the possibility for an effective, contiguous Palestinian state”. By inventing the myth of “massive settlement construction”, Obama created a false sense of urgency to justify the UNSC resolution.

Obama’s claim that UNSC 2334 was necessary because of settlement growth is false given that the total land occupied by settlements is 1.7% of the West Bank, about the same it was when the Oslo agreements were signed.

The US witnessed and backed the Oslo Accords but instead of defending the Oslo accords, Obama helped Abbas violate Oslo. Abbas would not have been able to violate Oslo without Obama’s help in the UNSC. By enabling the anti-Israel UNSC resolution Obama ruled that the Jewish Quarter, Temple Mount and the Western Wall are “occupied Palestinian territory”, the Wiesenthal Center declared UNSC 2334 the worst anti-Semitic incident in 2016.

Obama tried to portrait UNSC 2334 as being about settlements but it is actually much more than that. If Obama just wanted to stop settlement growth, as he claims, why did he authorize a resolution that rules that both Jerusalem’s Temple Mount and the Western Wall are “occupied Palestinian territory”? (While Clinton’s parameters were that it is nonnegotiable that the Temple Mount would be in Palestine while the Western Wall would remain in Israel)

If Obama believed the “two State solution” was in danger and, as he claims, imposing a solution in the UNSC was necessary to protect the two state solution couldn’t he had been more balanced? Why not adopt the more balanced Bill Clinton’s parameters? Why, for example, give all four quarters of Jerusalem’s Old City to the Arabs and not two quarters to the Arabs and two quarters to the Jews as Clinton had proposed in Camp David in 2000? Why didn’t he adopt a more BALANCED position and adopt Bill Clinton’s parameters which gave the Western Wall to the Jews?

Itzhak Rabin (Oslo Accords) and Bill Clinton did not consider settlements to be illegal and did not require that Israel return all the land beyond the lines which existed before the Six Day War. Rabin said “We will not return to the 4 June 1967 lines.” Clinton said “I recommended 94 to 96 percent of the West Bank for the Palestinians…an understanding that the land kept by Israel would include 80 percent of the settlers in blocs…”

Obama’s UNSC 2334 rules that “the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law”. UNSC 2334 “calls for affirmative steps to be taken immediately to reverse the negative trends on the ground”.

Obama contradicts the positions of both Rabin (Oslo Accords) and Clinton. By calling for the “reversal” of settlements Obama’s UNSC 2334 is basically calling for the ethnic cleansing of over 800,000 Jews that reside (in settlement blocks and in East Jerusalem) over the 1949 Armstice Lines (green line).

On December 24, 2016 Bloomberg reported “President Barack Obama’s administration staged a “shameful ambush” by allowing the UN Security Council to pass a resolution declaring Israel’s West Bank settlements illegal, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in his first public comments since Friday’s vote.

…The resolution “doesn’t bring peace closer. It pushes it further away,” Netanyahu said Saturday…

…Under the resolution, he said, Jerusalem’s Jewish Quarter and the Western Wall would be considered “occupied territory,” which he termed “absurd.”

please see https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-12-24/obama-staged-shameful-ambush-against-israel-netanyahu-says

United with Israel reported “The Simon Wiesenthal Center, which dedicates itself to combating post-Holocaust anti-Semitism, has presented its list of the top 10 worst anti-Semitic and anti-Israel incidents that occurred over the course of 2016.

…The most stunning 2016 United Nations (UN) attack on Israel was facilitated by US President Obama when the US abstained on a UN Security Council resolution condemning Israel for construction in Judea and Samaria. It reversed decades-long US policy of vetoing such diplomatic moves against the Jewish State.

In 2011, a similar resolution was vetoed by US Ambassador Susan Rice “This draft resolution risks hardening the positions of both sides. It could encourage the parties to stay out of negotiations”, she had said. That same year, President Obama told the UN General Assembly that peace would “not [come] through statements and resolutions at the UN”

The resolution, in effect, identifies Jerusalem’s holiest sites, including the Temple Mount and the Western Wall, as “occupied Palestinian territory.” It also urges UN members “to distinguish, in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967,” effectively endorsing BDS.

US Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) echoed the sentiments of many Democrats and Republicans, labeling the resolution “destructive and irresponsible” and as seeking “to isolate and delegitimize Israel…US actions were completely unacceptable and reckless.”

The Top 10 Global Anti-Semitic Incidents of 2016

Saying that the settlements are not illegal is also consistent with Congress legislation. Before UNSC 2334 the territories where the settlements are were called “disputed” not “illegally ocupied”.

UNSC 2334 called the settlements “illegal” but the Congress rejected this. H.Res.11 rejected UNSC 2334. 0n July 1st 2017 the Congress approved H.Res.11 – Objecting to United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 as an obstacle to Israeli-Palestinian peace, and for other purposes.

H.Res.11 “Expresses the sense of the House of Representatives that the passage of U.N. Security Council Resolution 2334:

undermined the long-standing U.S. position to oppose and veto Security Council resolutions that seek to impose solutions to final status issues or that are one-sided and anti-Israel;
undermines the prospect of Israelis and Palestinians resuming productive, direct negotiations; and
contributes to the politically motivated acts of boycott, divestment from, and sanctions against Israel and represents a concerted effort to extract concessions from Israel outside of direct negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians, which must be actively rejected.
Such resolution characterizes Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem as illegal and demands cessation of settlement activities.

Declares that:

any future measures taken in international or outside organizations to impose an agreement including the recognition of a Palestinian state will set back the cause of peace, harm the security of Israel, run counter to the enduring bipartisan consensus on strengthening the U.S.-Israel relationship, and weaken support for such organizations;
a sustainable peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians will come only through direct bilateral negotiations between the parties resulting in a Jewish, democratic state living next to a demilitarized Palestinian state in peace and security;
the United States should work to facilitate direct negotiations between the parties without preconditions toward a peace agreement; and
the U.S. government should oppose and veto future Security Council resolutions that seek to impose solutions to final status issues or that are one-sided and anti-Israel.
Declares that the House opposes Security Council Resolution 2334 and will work to strengthen the U.S.-Israel relationship.

Calls for such resolution to be repealed or fundamentally altered.”

https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-resolution/11

The Congress passed H.Res.11 asking for Obama’s UNSC 2334 (which calls the settlements illegal) to be “repealed or fundamentally altered.” The US should stop funding the UN until it complies.

Ezequiel Doiny is author of “Obama’s assault on Jerusalem’s Western Wall”

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