Pompeo in Israel
At a time of COVID-19 related lockdowns and social distancing in most countries, Pompeo showed up in Israel Tuesday.
He came to meet with and bolster Netanyahu ahead of his upcoming trial to start later this month for bribery, fraud, and breach of trust.
He’s the only indicted figure in Israeli history to be sworn into office as prime minister — heading a coalition regime with Benny Gantz in a junior partnership role, at least for now.
Last week, Israel’s Supreme Court ruled against the Movement for the Quality of Government in Israel’s urging to disqualify Netanyahu because of serious charges he faces, clear evidence proving them.
For the first time, the High Court ruled (unanimously) that it’s OK for a corrupt figure to lead the Jewish state — effectively legitimizing his criminality, instead of demanding that the judicial process should decide his fate.
Pompeo was also at Netanyahu’s swearing in to highlight the Trump regime’s approval of his illegal plan to annex settlements, the Jordan Valley, and northern Dead Sea.
Taking these steps will officially end the illusion of a possible two-state solution Israel never accepted throughout its history.
Annexation will formally steal around another 30% of historic Palestinian land.
The Trump regime approved the grand theft in its farcical no-peace/peace plan no one for peace, equity, and justice would accept. Palestinians rejected it before released.
Days earlier, US envoy to Israel David Friedman noted the Trump regime’s support for annexation, adding that talks with Palestinians should accompany it.
He failed to explain that Israel, like the US, doesn’t negotiate. Both countries demand, wanting things their way no matter how harmful their policies are to most people or that they repeatedly breach the rule of law.
According to what Netanyahu and Gantz agreed to in forming a ruling coalition regime, Likud and Blue & White must jointly approve legislative proposals to advance them, including annexation of Palestinian land that requires Knesset authorization.
When the moment of truth arrives in the coming weeks or longer, will Gantz go along with Netanyahu’s annexation scheme or will he block it because it risks a potentially damaging international reaction?
If both sides deadlock on this and/or other issues, the outcome could be a fourth election — what most likely will happen if Netanyahu’s trial ends in conviction and imprisonment.
In late April, the Adalah Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel wrote Israeli attorney general Mandelblit, warning against Netanyahu’s illegal annexation plan.
It cited the International Court of Justice’s 2004 ruling on Israel’s Separation Wall on stolen Palestinian land that called for completed sections to be dismantled.
The ICJ also ordered reparations to be paid to Palestinians for the “requisition and destruction of homes, businesses, and agricultural holdings (and) to return the land, orchards, olive groves, and other immovable property seized.”
Israel ignored the ruling. Wall construction continued, along with other theft of historic Palestinian land.
In its letter to Mandelblit, Adalah also stressed that the Netanyahu/Gantz coalition agreement breached international law by ignoring Security Council resolutions, the right of Palestinians to self-determination, and it bypassed other “international legal barriers.”
The West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza are illegally occupied territories. Israeli settlements are illegal under international law.
Adalah attorney Suhad Bishara said the following:
“We do not recognize any precedent anywhere in the world in which a political agreement to form a government coalition stipulates a commitment to violate international law,” adding:
“Israel’s annexation of the occupied West Bank – which this coalition agreement seeks to advance – constitutes another step toward abolishing the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people and the establishment of an apartheid regime.”
This action if taken “cannot stand the test of international or Israeli law, and we will continue to take action against it.”
An earlier Adalah press release stressed that the Trump regime’s approval of Netanyahu’s annexation scheme may result in the “forced transfer of 260,000 Palestinian citizens of Israel.”
Adalah referred to “over 260,000 Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel living in 10 towns in the Triangle region in the center of the country…”
“According to the (annexation) plan…Israel’s borders would simply be redrawn to leave (these Palestinians) outside its borders…strip(ping) them of Israeli citizenship” — leaving them permanently occupied.
The annexation scheme “establishes Israel as the sole full sovereign regime in Israel and in the 1967 Palestinian occupied territories – mandatory Palestine – effectively controlling Palestinian enclaves in that territory, and granting no political rights for most of the Palestinians living in self-governed bantustans in the West Bank and Gaza, and now, also in the Triangle region.”
If formal annexation occurs as planned, the only option for Palestinians is resistance.
Making their case in an international tribunal like the ICJ or International Criminal Court (ICC) will accomplish nothing as long as the US approves of Israel’s actions.
Palestinians are on their own in their longterm struggle for justice denied them by the Jewish state and its allies.
My two Wall Street books are timely reading:
“How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion, and Class War”
“Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity”