kuttab49_Nir KeidarAnadolu Agency via Getty Images_israelpalestineprotest Nir Keidar/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Israel’s Trumpian Unilateralism

Under the cover of a sham "peace plan" put forward by the Trump administration earlier this year, Israel is rushing to seize occupied Palestinian territory in the West Bank. The Netanyahu government's cynical strategy not only violates longstanding international law, but also undermines Israel's own long-term interests.

AMMAN – Since the end of World War II, the international community has embraced a simple but powerful principle: No country, no matter how powerful, may take land from its neighbors by force. When Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands in 1982, the world voiced few objections to the United Kingdom’s military intervention to retake its territory. When Iraq occupied Kuwait in 1990, the United Nations authorized military action to expel them. And when Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, the UN imposed heavy sanctions that remain in place today.

For 53 years, Palestinians have placed their hopes in this principle. In 1967, it was codified in the preamble to UN Security Council Resolution 242, which established a roadmap for peace between Israel and Palestine, and further affirmed “the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war.” Although living under occupation has always been unacceptable to Palestinians, it was made tolerable by the hope that right would overcome might, and Israel’s “inadmissible” occupation eventually would end.

Moreover, unlike the Falklanders, the Kuwaitis, or the Ukrainians, Palestinians have shown flexibility in trying to negotiate an acceptable settlement with Israel. But instead of being rewarded for this good faith, Palestinian offers of land swaps (equal in size and quality) have been twisted by policymakers in Israel to legitimize the theft of occupied Palestinian territory.

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