In Major Shift, Trump Warns Israel Against ‘Unilateral’ Settlements

In Major Shift, Trump Warns Israel Against ‘Unilateral’ Settlements | Insists no official position taken, but wants Israel to ‘hold off’

The far-right Israeli government has been operating under the impression that President Trump would unconditionally endorse any measures they take in the occupied West Bank, reflected in multiple announcements of several thousand new settlement units in the area since the inauguration.

The White House, however, is warning Israel against carrying out any more such “unilateral” announcements in the near-term, saying they fear the settlements may not be helpful to the peace process, and that they want Israel to “hold off” pending talks later this month between Trump and Netanyahu.

The Trump Administration didn’t totally abandon the idea they might be pro-settlement, however, insisting they they have not yet taking any official position, but that they continue to be hopeful of peace negotiations, and are leery of any moves that might complicate that.

Yet the “not helpful” terminology mirrors the Obama Administration’s own statements faulting settlement expansion, and the fact that the Trump Administration spoke out at all is seen as something of a surprise, given President Trump’s previous efforts to position himself as pro-Israel to the exclusion of any criticism, and so angrily reacted to a UN Security Council vote, before his inauguration, which faulted Israel’s expansion of settlements as a threat to peace.

Analysts see the move as a reaction to Israel making such large, and frequent, announcements of settlement expansion so soon, and that the big concern for the administration is that Israel has been “surprising” them with such announcements instead of giving them some lead time to plan their own narrative.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.

  • Idiotland

    If they don’t watch out, we’ll give them another $38 billion.

    • john

      Well Trump might lose his temper and go tell them to pound sand, which would be a break from every previous administration.

      • Mary Myers

        In your dreams!

  • Javier_227

    In other words, no problem with settlements, just ask us for permission.

    • So we have time to form a narrative.

  • bob balkas

    “Alternative facts” and now “Unilateral” ‘settlements’ building or unilaterally stealing the Palestinian land???
    But when was the last time Israel did anything without US approval and burning wishes? Ever, never or always bilaterally!!!?

    And i may add Canada to the list and even parts of godless Europe as well-wishers for the Greater Israel!!!

  • TellTheTruth-2

    Maybe is he said “PLEASE WITH SUGAR ON TOP” Netanyahu would listen to him?

  • rosemerry

    Back to the Condi Rice days of “unhelpful” for illegal Israeli behavior.

  • CuriousNC

    Those that clamor for sustaining the myth of the two state solution must be overjoyed. The Israeli-Saudi-American axis is saved for another day!

  • outer_rl

    Racist colonialism can take a while to dig roots

  • Halit

    How contradicting and how unpredictable is this?
    Like ordinary citizen learning how the internetational politicians shouldn’t be like this man after meeting King of Jordan changing his statement unconditional support to Israel now Israel should be careful unilateral settlement approval.
    I guess the good news is, perhaps he is willing to learn and before is to late night we have hope that he might improve.

  • Johnson11b

    Wikipedia says that the Jews bought the land for Kfar Etzion.