Less than a month ago the U.N. Security Council condemned Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem as a "flagrant violation" of international law.
However, Israel couldn’t care less, given that it just approved the construction of approximately 2,500 new housing units in West Bank settlements, according to a statement from Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
"We are building — and we will continue to build," Netanyahu tweeted.
Israel’s defiance is appalling but certainly not surprising.
For decades, Israel has built Jewish settlements on occupied (read: grabbed) land owned by Palestinians in order to expand Jewish population in the embattled region.
Despite international condemnation and criticism from major human rights groups, Israel has consistently managed to carry on with its illegal expansion, which includes intimidating Palestinians, throwing them out of their homes, demolishing their homes and destroying their lives and livelihood.
This has been more or less possible because of the West’s (especially Europe and the United States') unflinching support for Israel.
Consider this: Israel’s military openly and blatantly carries out human rights violations against Palestinians. But the U.S. struck a military aid deal, just last September, with Israel — worth $38 billion.
(By the way, this deal happened during the same time as former U.S. President Barack Obama famously stood up to Netanyahu’s petulance over the Iran nuclear deal.)
As Netanyahu, yet again, thumbs his nose at the U.N. to pursue his state’s illegal strategic interests, the helpless international organization is doing what it usually does whenever Israel defies its principles: condemn Israel’s actions.
"For the secretary-general there is no plan B for the two-states solution," U.N. chief Antonio Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric said of the new settlement plan. "In this respect any unilateral decision that can be an obstacle to the two-state goal is of grave concern for the secretary-general."
Meanwhile, Israel continues to do whatever it wants to.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Baz Ratner