Palestinian Authority, Israeli left react with anger at US decision in favor of settlements

Israeli left-wing politicians joined with the PA against the U.S. decision.

By World Israel News Staff

The Palestinian Authority and left-wing Israeli politicians condemned the Monday announcement of the Trump administration that it would no longer abide by a 1978 legal ruling declaring the Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria as illegal.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made the announcement that the U.S. was repudiating the 1978 State Department legal opinion that held that civilian settlements in the occupied territories are “inconsistent with international law.”

Nabil Abu Rdeneh, a spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. said “The U.S. administration has lost its credibility to play any future role in the peace process.”

Saeeb Erekat, chief of the PLO Steering and Monitoring Committee, said “We’re talking about a dangerous and irresponsible declaration that will have difficult ramifications.”

The PA under its leader Mahmoud Abbas has boycotted the Trump administration since December 2017, when Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Joining the PA in its condemnation, and in contrast to most of Israel’s politicians, hard-left Israeli politicos attacked the change in U.S. policy.

Tamar Zandberg, former head of the Meretz party, said “The settlements are an obstacle to peace. This conflict is costing us a bloody price and it is time to end it.”

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Yariv Oppenheimer, former director of Peace Now who ran for the Meretz party in April 2019, tweeted on Monday, “The settlements are a crime against Zionism, a violation of international law and the transfer of population to occupied territory. Trump could also sing two sides of the Jordan, the reality will not change.”

Oppenheimer apparently was referring to Left of the Jordan, a popular right-wing ditty by pre-state nationalist politician Vladimir “Ze’ev” Jabotinsky. (The Jews had been promised both sides of the Jordan River under the British Mandate.)

Stav Shaffir, a former Labor party member who joined the Democratic Union faction and is head of the Green party, tweeted On Nov. 19, “The Pompeo declaration is another dubious achievement for Netanyahu and another beautiful self goal for all of us. The big problem in Judea and Samaria is not legality – but security, Zionism and morality. Approving settlements outside the blocs will force us to choose between a bi-national state and an apartheid state, in which case the Zionist vision can be folded away.”

Merav Michaeli of the Labor party tweeted, “200,000 cheers but nine million should be very concerned. After the U.S. escaped from the Israeli border in the north, it has now distanced itself from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The practical significance of the Pompeo message is that the U.S. has taken another huge step on its way out of the Middle East. This is not a success for the State of Israel, it is a strategic danger.”