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Trump dishes out more confetti for Israel

26th Apr 2019
Trump dishes out more confetti for Israel

President Donald J. Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel at the United Nations General Assembly, October 2017 (Photo:The White House from Washington, DC)

At best of times, US leaders have often had little regard for international treaties and conventions, especially those that prove to be domestically inconvenient. The current resident of the White House is no different.

However, Donald Trump has been different in that he sets out his policy by tweeting, his latest snap decision was to support Israel’s annexation of Syria’s occupied Golan Heights which Israel has been illegally occupying for 52 years. Trump didn’t care about international law, as according to the Geneva Convention, occupation of the Golan Heights is illegal. No other country has recognised this illegal occupation. Both the UN and EU issued statements dissociating with this unilateral US action.

The US has always been pro-Israel but Trump has trumped every former president when he tore up all international conventions and norms last year by moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem in recognition of the city as the capital of Israel, contrary to its international special status.

Empowered by Trump, Israel’s Leader, Benjamin Netanyahu, made an election pledge to annex illegal Jewish settlements in occupied Palestinian territories and put paid to a Palestinian state if he won. He said he would prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state by “controlling the entire area.”

It was the result of Trump giving a formal US stamp of approval to Israel’s continuing violation of international law, and, in particular of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits an occupying power from transferring its civilians into occupied territory.

Or as International Law Professor at Yale University, Oona Hathaway, said: “The international law is clear: there is no right to annex territory from another state by force, whether in an aggressive or defensive war.”

He added that any justification for “annexation is outrageous and potentially destabilising to the post-war international order.”

Well over 800,000 illegal settlers are estimated to live in occupied Palestinian territories as well as the occupied Syrian Golan Heights. It also comes after Western countries failed to bring about regime change in Syria. The unholy alliance between Trump and Netanyahu looks set to continue with callous disregard for international law or justice while the UK and the EU and the rest of the world simply look on.

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