The Trump administration's revelation that it will no longer see Israeli communities in the West Bank as illegal settlements is a good thing, asserts Mike Evans in The Jerusalem Post. This validates Israel's claim to lands and towns that are intertwined with Judaism since the days of Abraham. The notion that Jews can't live in places like Hebron and Judea, the place they take their name from, is bigoted and belies their historic ties to this land. President Trump is right to make this decision and stand with a key regional ally to the US. Israel's cultural ties to the US and strong democracy make it the ideal partner for American strategy in the Middle East in the face of more belligerent nations.
President Trump's decision regarding Israeli settlements in the West Bank erodes the possibility of a two-state solution and peace, infers Joshua Leifer in The Guardian. He is aiding Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's effort to annex parts of the West Bank, which would make the establishment of a Palestinian state unlikely. Without one, establishing real peace in the region becomes even harder. Trump has already undermined Palestinians by slashing funding for organizations that help them, for example. Whatever the US may say, it is clear that the settlements violate international law. Negotiation and dialogue are the way forward, not one-sided policy maneuvers that so clearly exclude Palestinians.