Democrats support Trump, not Obama, on Mid-East vote

United_Nations_Security_CouncilWriting in Foreign Policy in Focus, Middle East expert Stephen Zunes describes the recent vote in the U.S. House of Representatives in which a majority of Democrats joined Republicans in siding with President-Elect Trump against President Obama regarding Israeli settlements, international law, and the role of the United Nations. (See Once Again, Democrats Are Blowing It on Middle East Peace,, 11 January 2017.)

In the first major foreign policy vote of the new Congress, most Democrats sided with Donald Trump — and against international law — on Israeli settlements. – Stephen Zunes

On January 5, a majority of House Democrats joined virtually every Republican in voting for H. Res. 11, a resolution that criticized the U.S. refusal to veto the otherwise unanimous UN Security Council resolution 2334 condemning Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Yet the UN Security Council resolution in question simply reconfirmed the longstanding consensus that such settlements are illegitimate under the Fourth Geneva Convention, a series of previous UN Security Council resolutions, and a landmark advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice.

H. Res. 11, the House statement, effectively equates opposition to the illegal colonization drive by Israel’s right-wing government with opposition to Israel itself. This would appear to be part of a bipartisan effort to delegitimize any criticism of Israeli policies.

…[M]oderate pro-Israel groups such as J Street and Americans for Peace Now supported Obama’s decision not to veto the resolution, recognizing that unfettered expansion of settlements will make the establishment of a viable contiguous Palestinian state alongside Israel impossible — and therefore eventually force Israel to choose between being a democracy or a Jewish state.

For the full article, click Once Again, Democrats Are Blowing It on Middle East Peace (Stephen Zunes,, 11 January 2017). See also Hope fades for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (Stephen Zunes, National Catholic Reporter, 10 January 2017).


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Tags: American Congress, Democrats, Fourth Geneva Convention, House of Representatives, ICJ, illegal settlements, International Court of Justice, international law, Israel, Middle East Peace Process, Occupied Territories, occupied West Bank, Palestine, President Obama, President-elect Trump, Republicans, Rideau Institute, Stephen Zunes, U.N. Security Council, UN Charter, USA