News Release

Trump’s Morocco Move: Inviting Counties to Invade Each Other; Will Biden Reverse it?


On Thursday, put out a news release: “Trump: Paying Off Morocco with Western Sahara to Recognize Israel.”


Awad is president of Nonviolence International. He visited Western Sahara in 2015 and has been noting that the occupation of Palestine is similar to that of Western Sahara in many ways.

The group’s co-founder, Kuttab, who like Awad, is Palestinian, recently wrote the book Beyond the Two-State Solution. He said in reaction to Trump’s move: “Since the end of World War II, one of the bedrocks of international law was the inadmissibility of acquisition of territory by force. Of the 194 countries in the world today more than half have some sort of claim, historical, tribal, security interests, or economic desires, to acquire portions of their neighbors’ territory. This is particularly true of Africa where it was the colonial powers who drew the national boundaries often with little concern for the tribal or other interests of the indigenous people.

“Yet an international order where any country can find an excuse to invade its neighbors and assert ancient claims (however justified) would lead to total chaos. That is why the inviolability of international borders became a bedrock of international law. The few attempts to deviate from this have met with uniform opposition by the international community. …”

This principle, noted Kuttab, was explicitly violated by Trump not only in his “approval of the annexation of East Jerusalem and moving the U.S. embassy there, but also the annexation of the Golan Heights.”

On Thursday, “Trump announced yet another violation of this principle by announcing that the U.S. recognizes Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara, in a horse deal that traded normalization with Israel to recognize the highly contested claims of Morocco over Western Sahara. Apart from the clear violation of international law, and the injustice to the people of Western Sahara and their right to self-determination, this move further erodes international law and principles, and almost invites countries all over the world, particularly in Africa, to invade their neighbors, or wait for an opportune moment to assert their claims, and for the proper incentive needed to have the U.S. approve it.”

Especially given these ramifications, Kuttab stressed the need for a president Biden to reverse the recognitions along with other Trump actions such as the withdrawal from international agreements.