Trump’s deal on Morocco’s Western Sahara annexation risks more global conflict

Stephen Zunes is a professor of politics at the University of San Francisco and is co-author, with Jacob Mundy, of “Western Sahara: War, Nationalism, and Conflict Irresolution.”

Last week, President Trump formally recognized Morocco’s annexation of Western Sahara as part of a deal to get Morocco to normalize relations with Israel. But Morocco’s claim on Western Sahara is rejected by the United Nations, the World Court, the African Union and a broad consensus of international legal scholars that consider the region a non-self-governing territory that must be allowed an act of self-determination. This is why no country had formally recognized Morocco’s takeover — until now. At the time of the Moroccan takeover of the former Spanish colony in 1975, the U.N. Security Council unanimously called on Moroccan forces to immediately withdraw and allow the people of Western Sahara to determine their own destiny. However, both France and the United States prevented the Security Council from enforcing its mandate. [FULL LINK]

Pompeo Embraced Israeli Settlements, But Democrats Also Paved the Way for It

[Truthout, November 28, 2020] – Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has faced widespread international condemnation for his recent assertions that illegal Israeli settlements constructed in the occupied West Bank are somehow legal and part of Israel, and that products from these colonies on confiscated Palestinian land should be labeled as “Made in Israel.” What fewer are discussing, however, is that while these proclamations are unprecedented in their scope, they are in fact the culmination of decades of bipartisan support for Israeli expansionism. The illegality of Israel’s settlements in the West Bank is clear: Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention — to which both Israel and the United States are signatories — prohibits any occupying power from transferring “parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.” [FULL LINK]