Israel’s Knesset on Monday passed a controversial bill that will legalize even unauthorized Jewish settlement outposts in the so-called “West Bank.”
Following the vote on what is known as the Regulation Law, right-wing lawmaker Bezalel Smotrich (Jewish Home) took the podium and publicly thanked US President Donald Trump and the American people for making such a move possible.
“Without [Trump] the law would have probably not passed,” said Smotrich.
It is true that Israeli governments have often refrained from bolstering the settlement of the Land of Israel if they thought the Americans would object. It is a certainty that the rest of the world will always object, so without American coverage, Israel fears being too isolated.
What’s also true is that President Trump has repeatedly stated, in contrast to previous US governments, that Jewish settlements are not the obstacle to peace in the Middle East.
While Trump has cautioned Israel against making unilateral moves (or at least against announcing them to the world), he has also appointed diplomats who firmly believe Israel should be sovereign in _all_the land.
As for the Regulation Law, the Trump Administration pointedly refused to comment on the matter when pressed by reporters.
Instead, the White House will wait to see if Israel’s Supreme Court approves the law and then quietly consult on the matter with the relevant parties.
Quite the contrast to former US President Barack Obama. And the reason why Israel feels emboldened to take such measures.