Last week US President Donald Trump’s administration made a notable move. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the US is reversing previous policy which basically accepted that Israel’s colonial settlements in the occupied West Bank are a violation of international law. This is a moment of some significance and importance, but not for the reasons generally stated. In reality, all US administrations have in practice treated Israel’s settlements in the West Bank as if they were legal. While it’s true that – much like the EU still does – the Americans have voiced toothless objections to Israeli policy in the West Bank, in practice they have done nothing to stop its colonial expansion.