US Democratic presidential candidates, including front-runners Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg, last Monday condemned US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s announcement that the Trump administration was softening its position on Israeli settlements.
Pompeo told reporters at the State Department that “the establishment of Israeli civilian settlements in the West Bank is not per se inconsistent with international law,” breaking with decades of US policy.
Vermont Senator Sanders denounced the move, saying that “Israeli settlements in occupied territory are illegal. This is clear from international law and multiple United Nations resolutions. Once again, Mr. Trump is isolating the United States and undermining diplomacy by pandering to his extremist base.”
The bald-faced lies of the Democratic cohort represent the moral bankruptcy of the Democratic party. Firstly, the Israeli settlements are and never have been illegal under international law. Following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire after the First World War, the 1920 San Remo conference of the Great Powers agreed that Jews had the right to settle anywhere in their ancient homeland — and this included even Gaza and what is today part of Jordan. The resolution, ratified by the League of Nations, has never been abrogated, and Trump’s team of lawyers came to the same conclusion. It is fair to say that the territories administered by Israel are disputed, but that’s about it. For the Democrats, not to speak of the European Union and various international courts, to say otherwise is a double standard of the worst kind.