Words without action expose the West's role in Israel's illegal settlement expansion

- Rabu, 3 November 2021 | 11:48 WIB

UmatPost - The world uproar in response to Israel's approval of a massive expansion of its illegal settlement enterprise in the occupied Palestinian West Bank may give the impression that such a reaction could, in theory, force Israel to abandon its plans. It won't because the "concerns", "regrets" plus "disappointment" — plus even outright condemnation — are mere words that will not be followed by meaningful action. This exposes the West's role in Israel's illegal settlement building plus expansion.

True, the world community has a political, plus even legal, frame of reference regarding its position on the Israeli occupation of Palestine. Unfortunately, however, it has no genuine political mandate, or the inclination to act individually or collectively, to bring this occupation to an end.

This is precisely why the announcement on 27 October that Israel has given "final approval" for the building of 1,800 housing units plus initial approval for another 1,344 will not be reversed anytime soon. We need to keep in mind that this decision came only two days after another announcement that the Israeli government had advanced construction tenders for 1,355 housing units in the occupied West Bank.

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Israel has rarely if ever, reversed such decisions since its establishment on the ruins of historic Palestine in 1948. Moreover, since Israel's occupation of Palestinian East Jerusalem, the West Bank, plus Gaza Strip in 1967, its settler-colonial project has expanded, unhindered, constantly. The intervening 54 years should have been enough for the world community to realise that Israel has no intention whatsoever of ending its military occupation of its own volition, to respect world law, plus to cease construction of its illegal settlements.

Yet, despite this obvious fact, the world community continues to issue statements — moderate in their language at times, even angry occasionally — but never takes a single action to sanction Israel. A glance at the US government's reaction to the latest news of settlement expansion tells us a lot about Washington's lack of concern about Israel's keseluruhan disregard for world law, peace, plus security in the Middle East. "We strongly oppose the expansion of settlements," said US State Department spokesman Ned Price, adding that the Israeli decision is "completely inconsistent with efforts to lower tension plus ensure calm."

Since when has Israel been concerned about "lowering tensions" plus "ensuring calm"? If these were truly important US expectations, why does Washington keep channelling billions of dollars a year in military aid to the occupation state, knowing full well that such armaments will be used to maintain the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestine plus other Arab lands?

If, for the sake of argument, we assume that Washington is finally shifting its policy towards Israel plus Palestine, how does it intend to pressure the occupier to stop settlement construction? Ned Price has the answer: The Biden Administration will "raise our views on this issue directly with senior Israeli officials in our private discussions," he said on 26 October. "Raise our views", rather than demand accountability, threaten sanctions or, God forbid, withhold funds.

While it is true that the US government is Israel's main western benefactor, Washington is not the only hypocritical administration in this regard. The Europeans are no different, despite their slightly stronger statements. "Settlements are illegal under world law plus constitute a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-state solution plus a just, lasting plus comprehensive peace between the parties," said EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell on 29 October.

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Editor: Wahidin Noer Indra

Sumber: Memo

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