Benjamin Studebaker

Yet Another Attempt to Make the World a Better Place by Writing Things

Tag: United Nations

John Kerry and the UN are Right about Israeli Settlements

The UN Security Council has passed Resolution 2334 by a vote of 14 to zero, with the United States choosing to abstain rather than exercise its veto. The resolution condemns Israel’s construction of settlements within the occupied Palestinian territories. The language is uncharacteristically blunt:

the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace

The 14 member states who voted in favor of the resolution include the remaining permanent members (Britain, France, Russia, and China) and all of the current non-permanent members (Angola, Egypt, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Senegal, Spain, Ukraine, Uruguay, and Venezuela). Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claims the resolution is “skewed against Israel” and Donald Trump agreed, tweeting:

But both Trump and Netanyahu are mistaken–not only is Resolution 2334 not skewed against Israel, it is in Israel’s interest to abide by the resolution and abandon its settlements. Here’s why.

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Why Congress Will Not Declare War on ISIS

In recent days, a lot of commentators have been deeply upset by the fact that Barack Obama has been ordering military strikes against ISIS (the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) without congressional authorization, and that congress has not held a vote on the issue. Indeed, even house speaker John Boehner does not think the administration legally requires further authorization. The US constitution says that:

The Congress shall have Power To… declare War

So what’s going on here?

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Israel gets Vindictive

In the aftermath of Palestine’s victory in the recent UN vote, Israel has decided to withhold $120 million in Palestinian tax revenue, representing 3% of Palestine’s GDP, and to expand the illegal construction of settlements on Palestinian land. Today, I intend to denounce these policies as vindictive, irrational, and against the interests of the Israeli state. They are, from all reasonable points of view, the wrong policies. Read the rest of this entry »