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PRINCETON, N.J. -- Even as relations between the leaders of Israel and the United States reportedly deteriorate over disagreement about how to handle Iran's nuclear program, Israel has retained its broadly favorable image in the U.S. over the past year. Seventy percent of Americans now view that country favorably, and 62% say they sympathize more with the Israelis than the Palestinians in the Mideast conflict. By contrast, 17% currently view the Palestinian Authority favorably, and 16% sympathize more with the Palestinians.
These attitudes, from Gallup's Feb. 8-11 World Affairs survey, are unchanged from a year ago, suggesting that neither the evident friction between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, nor the 50-day conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip last year, greatly affected how each is perceived in the U.S.
While Hamas does not currently have the means to destroy Israel, that remains their goal and who knows what the future may bring (nukes from Iran?). The Palestinians are paying the price for 66 years of attacks and refusal to make a comprehensive peace with the Jewish state. Peace is going to require compromises from both sides if it is to succeed.
The binding "decision" part of UNSC resolution 338 demanded a cease fire and the beginning of peace negotiations. Negotiations which have since been successfully carried out with Egypt and Jordan. The Palestinians aren't mentioned in 242 nor 338. Also, nothing in 242 or 338 states that the 1949 armistice lines are to be the final international frontiers nor that the West Bank is sovereign Palestinian territory, nor that the Israeli settlements in the West Bank are illegal.
The final boundaries between Israel and Palestine and the status of the settlements will be decided by negotiation between the parties which the Palestinians agreed to in the Oslo Accords, which is as it should be.
Erika De Wet (2004: 39-40) International Constitutional Law professor at the Amsterdam Centre for International Law quoted on p. 31, "Vagueness as a Political Strategy:Weasel Words in Security Council Resolutions Relating to the Second Gulf War" by Giuseppina Scotto di Carlo
I will trust the opinion of an expert on international law such as Prof. De Wet concerning whether Chapter VI Security Council resolutions are binding much more than the opinion of an Anti-Zionist propagandist. Regardless, I have already shown above that Israel is not in violation of UNSC 242 nor the Geneva Conventions.
There are still Palestinian groups (Hamas et al.) attempting to destroy the Jewish state and kill commit another Shoa against the Yishuv. But even those who only want to ethnically cleanse half a million Jews from the heart of their ancestral homeland and drive Israel back to the indefensible Auschwitz lines deserve to have German terminology thrown at them. I say that as someone whose learned German from my Grandparents who fled Altona, Germany in 1935.
Your claim that there are elements in the Israeli government who wish to drive the Arabs out from within the green line, what you describe as "legitimate" Israel, is a lie. The only political party which advocated Kahane's agenda was banned. On the contrary, Israel has already turned over approximately 10 percent of mandate Palestine to the Palestinians. The Arabs are in zero danger of being ethnically cleansed and a two-state solution is now inevitable.
The land is disputed because its title and ownership has not yet been settled in international law. Both Israel and Palestinians have valid claims to it. Anyone opposing negotiations and compromise by both sides to settle this dispute is part of the problem, not part of the cure.
UN Security Council resolutions are only binding if adopted under Chapter VII. UNSC 242 was adopted under Chapter VI, not VII, and does not demand an Israeli withdrawal from all of the West Bank and East Jerusalem nor does it make Israeli settlements illegal in the least. The West Bank is not yet sovereign Palestinian territory nor is the 1949 Armistice line the legal frontier in international law. "Secure and recognized boundaries" between Israel and Palestine remain to be negotiated.
Israelis voluntarily moving to the West Bank do not constitute a violation of the Geneva Conventions. Israel is not "deporting or transferring parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies." That statute was created in the aftermath of World War II with the Nazi forced deportations in mind.
The settlements are only a problem for those who are pushing for a judenrein apartheid Palestinian state. The idea that Jews are forbidden under international law from residing in East Jerusalem or the West Bank is a racist one and contravenes Article 80 of the United Nations Charter. If Arabs can be citizens of Israel, there is no reason why Jews could not remain as citizens in a Palestinian state if a true peace is being established.
The attitude of the U.S. towards the legality of the settlements depends solely upon that of the President who sets foreign policy. So, while it is most likely that future Presidents will continue our current correct policy of supporting negotiations, it is not "ridiculous" that a future President could like Carter or Reagan take one side or the other in the dispute.
Asserting that the United States views Jewish settlements as “illegitimate” does not amount to prejudging the outcome of negotiations aimed at resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Thursday.
Feel free to correct me if I am wrong, but I don't believe any President other than possibly Carter has actually called the Israeli settlements in the West Bank to be "illegal". The word they regularly use is "illegitimate". President Reagan was quite specific that they were not illegal.