International Community – Minus U.S. – Condemns Regulation Law

YERUSHALAYIM (AP/Hamodia) -
French President Francois Hollande (R) and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Tuesday. France joined in condemnations of the Israeli Regulation Bill. (Reuters/Jacky Naegelen)

 The international community demonstrated on Tuesday that it does not need the Obama administration to lead its chorus of condemnation against Israeli policy in Yehudah and Shomron.

Passage of the Regulation Law in the Knesset on Monday night was met with harsh words from the United Nations, France and Britain, as well as the Arab League and the Palestinians.

The U.N Mideast envoy on Tuesday said that the new Israeli law legalizing dozens of outpost communities in the region crossed a “very thick red line,” while Israeli rights groups said they would fight to overturn the measure in the High Court.

Nickolay Mladenov, the U.N.’s coordinator for the Middle East peace process, said the legislation “opens the floodgates to the potential annexation” in the region.

“It will have a drastic legal consequence for Israel and for the nature of its democracy,” Mladenov said. “It crosses a very, very thick red line.”

Britain’s minister for the Middle East, Tobias Ellwood, condemned the law, saying it “damages Israel’s standing with its international partners.”

“This law could exacerbate regional tensions,” stated French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, adding that it undermines the search for a two-state solution.

The law also cast a cloud over a visit to Israel by Turkey’s tourism minister. Israel and Turkey recently repaired ties after a six-year rift, and the tourism minister, Nabi Avci, was visiting as part of that reconciliation.

Asked about the law, Avci said he hoped Israel’s High Court would strike it down. “I think, I hope, that on this issue, the court will make the right decision, a decision in accordance with international law, a decision in accordance with United Nations decisions,” he said.

The Trump White House declined to criticize the Knesset action, but indicated that it would not be a rubber stamp for any Israeli policy in Yehudah and Shomron, either. After the law was passed late Monday, it said only that it would wait for Israel’s courts to rule on the legislation before taking a stance. When asked about the Regulation Law at a press briefing Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer reiterated that the White House would not yet offer an opinion on the law.

The Palestinians, meanwhile, accused the Jews of stealing the land of Israel and urged the international community to punish the state of Israel.

“Nobody can legalize the theft of the Palestinian lands. Building settlements is a crime, building settlements is against all international laws,” said Palestinian Tourism and Antiquities Minister Rula Maayaa. “I think it is time now for the international community to act concretely to stop the Israelis from these crimes.”

The Arab League similarly accused Israel on Tuesday of “stealing the land” of Palestinians. “The law in question is only a cover for stealing the land and appropriating the property of Palestinians,” said the head of the Cairo-based League, Ahmed Aboul Gheit.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called the Regulation Law an “attack against our people” and vowed to fight it in “international courts.”

Not to be left out, Hezbollah too condemned the new law and called for Palestinian “resistance” in response.