Posted by Jennifer Salan on December 26, 2016 in Blog

AAI President James Zogby joined MSNBC Live with Tamron Hall on December 26 to discuss reactions to the UN Security Council’s vote on illegal settlements. Watch the full interview embedded below. Excerpts of his remarks follow.

When asked about the Israeli Prime Minister’s radical reaction to the passage of the UN resolution – and the U.S. absention from the vote - Zogby had tough words.

“Benjamin Netanyahu has a record of being a rather petulant, spoiled child. He didn’t get his way. He’s throwing a tantrum. And he’s going to do what he can to make life uncomfortable for leadership here in the United States.”

Putting the UNSC vote in an international context, he added,

[Israel’s] “settlement program is so outrageous and is so frustrating, not only to the United States but to the entire world community and [it] violates fundamental rights of a people who are captive under that occupation. So, the problem here is that the U.S. did the mildest thing it could possibly do, which is let a resolution pass that the entire world community supports.”

Commenting on the viability of a two-state solution, Zogby said

“There hasn’t been progress in well over a decade, maybe two decades now. The point is that six hundred thousand settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem – [And] understand East Jerusalem is not the city of East Jerusalem. It is a swatch of territory [which includes] about eight percent of the West bank that includes 22 Palestinian villages that Israel just drew a line and said ‘this is now Jerusalem’ – And the amount of building that’s been going on, not only of settlements, but of Jewish only roads for settlers to travel back into Israel, has made it impossible to envision how you get a two-state solution, where it would be and how it would be economically and politically viable. That’s the problem the U.S. was standing up for at the UN. But frankly what I look at this resolution as saying, ‘The settlements are illegal. You cannot do it.’ It reaffirms an American policy that goes back to the very beginning of the occupation and puts the U.S. in the same corner as the rest of the world community.”