As of Friday, January 20, we have a new president -- President Donald Trump.
Comparisons have been made between Trump and Obama, and we can expect many more comparisons to be made over the next four years. One of those comparisons is in connection with Israel.
Obama allowed passage of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334, calling the settlements illegal and putting renewed pressure on Israel. Now along comes Trump, who has promised -- and has reiterated his intention to keep that promise -- to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Yet both claim to be friends of Israel.
Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Sunday, January 15, 2017
"[T]housands of new settlements are being constructed...you saw tens of thousands of settlements being constructed"
Ben Rhodes, deputy national security adviser, December 23, 2016
On December 23rd, United Nations Security Council Resolution 2344 was passed 14-0 with one abstension -- the United States. One of the key points of that resolution was the clear declaration that Israeli settlements are illegal. Not "illegitimate", as per US policy in the past, but "illegal". The settlements were described as an impediment to peace that must be removed.
Are There Tens of Thousands of Israeli Settlements... Or 228?
That same day, Ben Rhodes, the White House deputy security advisor, gave an interview to Judy Woodruff.
Recall that Rhodes is noted for having bragged about his manipulation of the media in creating the narrative that made the Iran deal possible, despite both popular and congressional opposition. He boasted at the time about the media's lack of knowledge of world events:
Most of the outlets are reporting on world events from Washington. The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That’s a sea change. They literally know nothing...We created an echo chamber...They [the seemingly independent experts] were saying things that validated what we had given them to say.