The United States bears responsibility for the disregard of international law and enabling of Israel’s settlements.
By James J. Zogby| Lobe Log | May 19, 2019
Successive American administrations’ attitudes toward Israeli settlements have gone from passive acquiescence to outright acceptance.
Last week, I addressed a United Nations Security Council meeting on “Israeli Settlements.” Because I knew that other speakers, experts, and diplomats would address the illegality of Israeli settlements, the economic and human rights impact on the Palestinian people, and the stated design of the entire settlement enterprise to eliminate the possibility of a viable and contiguous Palestinian state, I focused my remarks on my government’s role in enabling Israel’s settlements and its complicity in Israel’s violations of international law. This may seem like harsh language, but when nothing is done to stop an activity that violates international law, contributes to human rights abuses, and presents a clear danger to peace – then I don’t know any other way to describe American actions.
During the past 50 years, there has been a steady erosion in U.S. policy toward Israeli behavior in Palestinian lands. Successive American administrations’ attitudes toward Israeli settlements have gone from passive acquiescence to outright acceptance. Even when some presidents expressed opposition to Israeli settlements, they took no concrete action to stop them. The net result has been that the settlement population in the occupied territories grew from 50,000 during the Carter administration to 620,000 Israeli settlers today. The growth of settlements and settlers has been as steady as the erosion of the official U.S. policy on this critical question.