Israel has been stewing for the past two weeks over a United Nations resolution condemning its building of settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.
Now it has come to light that some members of Israel’s governing coalition were planning to introduce some game-changing legislation once President-elect Donald Trump is sworn in, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The new legislation would annex a West Bank settlement — a move that is unprecedented. Israel has always allowed the settlements to exist, but has not gone so far as to consider them part of Israel — until now, possibly.
“The conclusion is to stop the march of folly toward a Palestinian state and to implement Israeli law in Ma’ale Adumim (a major settlement near Jerusalem),” explained Naftali Bennett, the leader of the Jewish Home party, a small, strongly pro-settlement Orthodox Jewish party whose alliance with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave him the last few parliamentary seats he needed to form a governing coalition.
This law would take months to go through the Israeli political system, and it is unclear if it could get the 67 votes in the governing coalition necessary to become a law.
It is also unclear how a Trump administration would react to this new law. Trump has stated that he will support Israel, and The Washington Post noted that many Israelis think that settlements will blossom under Trump because he won’t make any moves to stop them.
David M. Friedman, Trump’s nominee for ambassador to Israel, is strongly in favor of West Bank settlements, possibly indicating how things could play out in that region, The Washington Post reported in a separate article.
Israel has made it clear that it really doesn’t care what the international community thinks of it. The Israelis will take actions they think are best for their people — even if the Security Council frowns on them.
Hopefully Trump will be able to bring some semblance of peace to the region — or at the very least reduce the tensions between the two sides while maintaining strong ties with Israel, a highly valued ally in the region.
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