To the editor,
After the 1967 Six Day War, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 242, directing Israel to leave all captured territories. Israel wouldn’t comply and after a few years began settling the territory it regarded as its own, regardless of international law. Then, in 1977, Jimmy Carter signed the Camp David Accords and finally some progress.
Knowing that peace between Egypt and Israel wasn’t enough, Carter had us abstain, when in 1979 the UNSC passed Resolution 446, affirming that Israel’s settlements were illegal and directing that Israel adhere to the Fourth Geneva Convention.
Again Israel would not, and still will not, comply as settlement building swallows up more and more Palestinian land, and Palestinians human rights are routinely violated.
So three years ago, after a half century of ignoring international law and with the looming unfeasibility of the “Two State Solution,” Barack Obama abstained at the UNSC and R2334 was passed to remind us of what was already the law.
But, recently, Secretary Pompeo, mouthing the unvarnished Trump, ended the charade with this prescient observation: “And finally, finally, calling the establishment of civilian settlements inconsistent with international law hasn’t worked. It hasn’t advanced the cause of peace.”
He’s right of course.
And calling the settlements legal, moving our embassy to Jerusalem and withholding aid from doomed Palestinian relief agencies are all just recognition of the reality that there can no longer be a Palestinian state living side by side with Israel. Israel and successive American governments have seen to that and in the process have likely fatally undermined our institutions of international law, which were devised to “advance the cause of peace.”
Well that’s what’s happening anyway; while we and the Israelis are reassuring ourselves that we are the world’s greatest democracies, by holding our leaders accountable to the law.