Russia and other thuggish countries with territorial designs beyond their borders are no doubt rejoicing over the Trump administration decision to stop regarding Israels occupation and settlement of the West Bank as a violation of international law. Republican and Democratic administrations for the past five decades have justifiably condemned Israels occupation practices as unacceptable and against United Nations principles rejecting territorial acquisition by military force.
With Secretary of State Mike Pompeos announcement reversing the U.S. position, the United States officially cedes the moral justification to intervene when other countries invade and occupy their neighbors. Pompeos announcement effectively shines a green light for other countries to disregard international law. If millions of people are subjugated and oppressed in the process, well, too bad.
Americans should be under no illusion about why the administration chose this moment to act. President Donald Trump faces imminent impeachment. His demonstrated tendency in embarrassing situations is to deflect attention with dramatic action elsewhere. Embattled Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is fighting for his own political survival while facing potential criminal prosecution for corruption. Trump is Netanyahus political savior.