Saturday, February 01, 2014

USA is neutral on legality of settlements

I was surprised to hear NPR radio say this:
HARRIS: Some activist group in this case means Oxfam International. Oxfam is against doing business of any kind with Israeli settlements in the West Bank, which many countries including the U.S. view as illegal under international law.
I knew that various people are always accusing Israel of illegalities, but had not heard this was the US view. Wikipedia says:
An opinion by a legal adviser to the U.S. Department of State found the settlements contrary to international law in 1978, though no Administration has officially stated so since the Carter Administration. ...

The United States has never voted in favor of any UN Resolution calling the settlements illegal except for Resolution 465 in 1980, and in that case the Carter administration subsequently announced that the vote had been cast in error[50] due to miscommunication ...

In February 1981, Ronald Reagan announced that he didn't believe that Israeli settlements in the West Bank were illegal.
This is out of my expertise. There are solid arguments for legality of the settlements. The USA does not take the position that they are illegal.

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