Posted by Jennifer Salan on December 28, 2016 in Blog

AAI President James Zogby joined MSNBC Live with Steve Kornacki on December 28 to discuss the UN Security Council vote on the illegality of Israeli settlements. We’ve included excerpts from his remarks below. Watch the full segment here or below. 

Pushing back against those who are critical of the Obama administration’s abstention and who defend Israeli settlement growth, Zogby noted,

“What the resolution says is that the territory taken in the ‘67 war is occupied territory and it is governed by the Fourth Geneva Convention that has very strict rules in terms of taking land from that territory, moving your population into that territory, and dispossessing the people of that territory from their land. Israel is in violation of international law on all those counts in the Occupied Territories which of course does include East Jerusalem.”

For those who try to wrongly redefine the issue of illegal settlements simply as one of Arab or Jewish “neighborhoods,” Zogby built on his earlier point by arguing,

“It’s Jewish colonies occupying land that was taken from the people of Bethlehem, the people of Beit Jala, the people of all those little villages who’ve become landless peasants, corralled into tiny little communities without access to what was once their land.”

When asked about the realities of a two-state solution, Zogby concluded by saying,

“I believe in it as a desirable outcome [the two-state solution]. I don’t think it will happen because you have almost six hundred thousand settlers living in that land, many of whom are very extreme as Secretary Kerry noted. And it would take a civil war to uproot them. Israel has dug a hole very deep for its own self. The U.S. has defended Israel from its external enemies but as Secretary Kerry said they are making a problem internally for themselves. And it’s not the U.S. isolating Israel in the world. Israel is isolating itself in the world community.”