Netanyahu Tells Israelis to Calm Down Over Trump Meeting

"And I think that peace for Israel would be a good thing for the Israeli people, not just a good thing, a great thing".

The dehumanizing language US politicians use against refugees fleeing to the United States and the decision to ban them is reminiscent of Israeli officials calling asylum seekers from Sudan and Eritrea "infiltrators" and detaining them in the desert.

The occupied Palestinian territories have witnessed tensions ever since Israel imposed restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem al-Quds in August 2015. Some 600,000 Israelis now live in the two areas.

A marked shift from some of his bold declarations while campaigning, Trump's comments were nearly a call for restraint at a time when Netanyahu is facing pressure from right-wing rivals to accelerate settlement growth in the Palestinian territories and even to abandon the two-state solution.

"International pressure, boycotts, reports against Israel, missiles, freezes, tying the hands of our soldiers in the fight against terrorism - all this will continue and intensify".

"The secretary-general insists on the need to avoid any action that would derail the two-state solution", spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

In the meantime, Israel's President, Reuven Rivlin, decried the "Regulation Law", saying the bill could cause Israel to look like an apartheid state.

"Sovereignty over the state needs to happen collectively, for all its citizens", Rivlin said. Britain's minister for the Middle East, Tobias Ellwood, said the law "damages Israel's standing with its global partners".

The reality may be more complicated.

Israel would see the move as a major diplomatic success, while the Palestinians and their allies have been pushing Trump to abandon the idea. Rights groups have petitioned Israel's Supreme Court to annul it.

"There's going to be a legal battle against this bill", said Lior Amihai, spokesman for Peace Now. Israel says the movement is anti-Semitic in nature.

Netanyahu's nationalist coalition is dominated by settlers and their supporters.

He was, however, extremely critical of the December resolution by the UN Security Council that expressed the same sentiment: calling for an end to settlement building as detrimental to the peace process and illegal under global law.

Netanyahu missed Monday's vote because he was flying back from a visit to Britain. The prime minister said the White House had been briefed.

"Well, I want Israel to be reasonable with respect to peace". This is where their laws are written, this is where their supreme court is, this is where Arafat went to seek peace. The law itself is illegal and will no doubt be challenged. While the settler-colonial state of Israel is no stranger to land theft, this move comes just weeks after yet another United Nations resolution condemning Israeli settlement construction. That's land captured by Israel in 1967 that Palestinians have been living on for generations.

While the law states that the original landowners are "compensated" monetarily or with alternative land, they do not have to agree to concede their property rights.

It is hard to find a comparable global precedent for the Israeli action.

  • Leroy Wright