Donald Trump has signaled support for the growing Jewish settlements in Israel, even though those actions may kill any chance of a lasting peace in that region between Israel and the Palestinians.
When Trump suggested that he wanted the US Embassy moved to Jerusalem, an area off limits to foreign governments in the past, and a thorn in the sides of Palestine, he was sending the Israeli Prime Minister an accommodating nod that further Jewish settlements would no longer upset US policy.
During his speech, a few weeks ago, former Secretary of State John Kerry warned that further incursion into East Jerusalem or the West Bank by Israel would only hinder peace in the region.
Kerry placed blame with both sides. He spoke about the two-state solution, which he concluded was the only answer for long term stability in the region. Kerry said, however, Israel’s solution seemed to be a state of perpetual Palestinian occupation.
Today Israel announced its plans to build an additional 2,500 housing units in the West Bank, according to the Jerusalem Post. Palestinians see the move as an aggressive sign from Israel. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said the move by Israel is an effort to undermine peace, and will only promote more extremism in that region of the Middle East.
During the Obama Administration, Netanyahu and the former president were at odds with each other over the increased settlements, but now that Trump is in charge of policy, the Israeli Prime Minister has found an alley in his quest to push further with Jewish settlements.
In December, a resolution voted on by the United Nations Security Council stated the Jewish settlements were a “flagrant violation” of international law. The resolution passed 14-0 and the United States, who could have vetoed the resolution, instead abstained and allowed the resolution to go forward.
While the resolution is non-binding and included no sanctions against Israel it was a gesture made by the Security Council that they did not approve of Israel’s actions. The Palestinians see Israeli actions as an encroachment that will make it impossible to form a two-state solution and live side-by-side with Israel in peace.