Time-honored Dedication to Israeli Expansionism Showcased by Obama

March 25, 2013

At his recent appearance in the Middle East, U.S. President Barack Obama repeatedly sanctioned Israeli expansionism by refusing to admit that under international law Israel is obligated to dismantle existing settlements and cease all settlement activities.

Obama's constructive opposition to the just demands of the Palestinians coincides completely with his administration's established policy as well as the policy of U.S. imperialism since the end of WWII when U.S. imperialism became the main sponsor of Israeli zionism.

The position of the Israeli government itself has long been that international law does not apply to Israeli settlements. Also, in any final status negotiations, Israel maintains that settlements will remain under Israeli sovereignty and control. Israel insists on expansion of the settlements.

Expansionism has always been an inherent part of the zionist "vision." Hertzl and the other fathers of zionism were intent on controlling "Greater Palestine" – that is, Palestine and its neighboring lands, and the Israeli Knesset has declared its "biblical right" to control all the land of "Eretz Israel," which is defined as stretching from the Nile River in Egypt to the Tigris and Euphrates in Syria. Since its founding, the state of Israel has waged several expansionist wars.

In 1967 Israel took control over the West Bank and Gaza (the last 20% of the territory of Palestine) through a war of conquest. The entire history since 1967 shows Israel plans to annex these territories. In violation of international law, Israel has steadily pursued the program of establishing Israeli settlements in the West Bank and Gaza by illegally usurping Palestinian land and exiling local residents.

Through settlements and a network of military access roads, Israel has crisscrossed the occupied territory with military bases. The settlements themselves are often little more than armed outposts of the Israeli army.

According to international law the Israeli settlements system is illegal. The Fourth Geneva Convention states that "The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies" [article 49(6)]. The U.N. Security Council has passed 24 resolutions declaring settlements to be illegal and an obstacle to peace. In addition, the Council has called for the cessation of all settlement activities and the dismantling of the existing ones. The Council has also repeatedly declared that all measures taken by Israel to change the demographic composition, physical character, institutional structure or status of the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, are null and void and have no legal validity [e.g. resolutions 446 (1979), 452 (1979) and 465 (1980)].

The Palestinian struggle demands an end to Israeli expropriation of Arab land, the expulsion of all Israeli troops and settlers from the occupied territories, including Jerusalem, and the creation of an independent Palestinian state. But behind the continuing expansion of the Israeli state stands U.S. imperialism. U.S. support for the expansionist and aggressive Israeli state is part of U.S. strategy to maintain domination of the oil-rich and strategic Middle East.