to the Editor
Franklin Square, N.W.
Kurtzer and Aaron David Miller write (“The U.S. never really tried to stop
Israel’s West Bank Settlements,” November 24) “by most accounts, the Trump
administration’s decision to treat Israel’s settlement enterprise as a legal
endeavor is a retreat by the United States from an almost universally accepted
norm of international law.”
these former senior diplomats know that primary international law regarding the
disputed territories is the League of Nations Palestine Mandate, Article 6
(1922). It encourages “close settlement by Jews on the land” west of the
Jordan River. The U.N. Charter (1945), Chapter 12, Article 80 (“the Palestine
article”) upholds the Mandate’s position. The San Remo Treaty (1920) and the
Anglo-American Convention (1924) either recognized or assumed the legality of
and Miller assert that post-1967 Six-Day War Jewish communities in the West Bank
mean “Palestinians cannot trade land for peace if they don’t possess the
land.” This reverses U.N. Security Resolution 242, adopted shortly after
Israel took the territories in the ’67 war. The measure assumed
“peace-for-land” negotiations; first the Arab side would commit to peace
with Israel, then Israelis would withdraw from some of the land.
authors note that the U.S. decision “means little for the peace process …
because it wasn’t going anywhere anyway.” But they don’t say
why—Palestinian rejection in 2000, 2001 and 2008 of “two-state solutions”
which offered a West Bank and Gaza Strip state, with eastern Jerusalem as its
capital, in exchange for peace with Israel.
F. Street, N.W.
Jamie Riley Kolsky, Letters and Local Opinion Editor