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Trump Has Given Israel Immunity To International Law
Paul Craig Roberts
In Israel’s treatment of Occupied Palestine, Israel has been violating international law for decades. Under international law, an occupying power is not permitted to incorporate the occupied land into its own domain. However, Israel has persistently done so, evicting Palestinians from their homes, villages, and farm lands in order to build apartments for Jewish immigrants.
As people learned of the fate suffered by Palestinians at Israel’s hands, criticism of Israel’s policy toward Palestinians by human rights activists grew, and boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movements arose.
These developments are inconvenient for Israel. Israeli media have indicated that the Israeli government is ready to complete the annexation of Palestine by evicting the remaining Palestinians and incorporating the remaining Palestinian land into Israel. Prior to taking this step, Israel wants to silence critics and prevent BDS action.
In the US the Israel Lobby has attempted to have the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act, the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, and the Strengthening America’s Security in the Middle East Act passed. However these acts clearly violate Constitutionally-protected free speech and protest, and Congress, although happy to please the Israel Lobby, doesn’t want to pass acts that the Supreme Court will obviously overturn. The ACLU opposes these acts on First Amendment grounds.
So the Israel Lobby has turned to Donald Trump to achieve by executive order what they have not achieved by legislation.
As the Israel Lobby has succeeded in equating criticism of Israeli government policies with anti-semitism or hatred of Jews, Trump’s executive order against anti-semitism permits the US government to cut off money to universities and organizations in which criticism of Israel is expressed in lectures, colloquiums, or debates.
Trump’s executive order has initiated a debate whether Trump has in effect declared Jews to be a nationality. See, for example, https://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/trump-creates-a-new-nation/ and
This is the wrong debate. The issue is why should Israel be the only country among the approximately 200 on earth whose policies cannot be criticized? Why should Israel be the only country that cannot be sanctioned and boycotted?