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January 03, 2006

LA Times, Fisk, Settlements & More

A few days after publishing the Robert Fisk rant which claims (wrongly) that the American media has given up on the term "settlements" and instead speaks of "Jewish neighborhoods," the Los Angeles Times today has an Op-Ed by Gershom Gorenberg about settlement expansion. (Number of times "Jewish neighborhoods" are mentioned: 0. Number of times "settlements" or "settlers" are mentioned: I stopped counting after 18.)

Gorenberg points out that the "road map" "explicitly states that Israel must freeze all settlement activity." Since the Times is apparently interested in who's keeping up their end of the bargain, can we look forward to an 850 word Op-Ed about the Palestinian failure to dismantle terrorist groups, as required by the "road map"? Don't count on it. Neither the news section nor the Op-Ed pages reported on the Palestinian police's recent sheltering of wanted Islamic Jihad terrorists in Jenin.

And, a wire story yesterday misreported the Palestinian "road map" obligation to disarm terror groups as an Israeli demand:

Israel has demanded that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud abbas disarm gunmen as a condition to renewing negotiations on the U.S.-sponsored "road map" peace plan.

So it's pesky Israelis always getting in the way of the "road map," whether the violation is their own or the Palestinians'.

But I digress. Back to Gorenberg. He reports that in the spring of 1968,

the State Department ordered the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv to remind Israeli officials of "our continuing opposition to any . . . settlements" and of the U.S. view that they violated international law.

[See note below.]

Though U.S. policy has consistenly considered Israeli settlements an obstacle to peace, it has not considered them a violation of international law since the Carter administration, a position which was quickly overturned by President Reagan. The Boston Globe corrected this point and we wait to hear whether the Times will too.

Note May 6, 2010: One element of this blog entry has been clarified. It previously stated that only the Carter Administration has regarded the settlements as illegal. In fact, no administration since the Carter Administration has declared the settlements illegal. Moreover, no chief executive aside from former President Carter has personally declared them illegal.

Posted by TS at January 3, 2006 08:10 AM


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