The Ugly Premise of "Settlement" Opponents

[Wall Street Journal] R. James Woolsey - The Palestinian Authority's first law adopted in 1994: the death penalty for any Palestinian who sells land to Jews. Over 100 Palestinians have died, under sentence or extrajudicially, for such sales in the last 15 years, including one last May. The Fatah [ruling party's] charter foresees a Palestine that is free of Jews - at the same time that Israel is home to over one million Arab citizens. The U.S. administration remains committed to stopping growth of any kind in all Jewish settlements in the West Bank. This policy implies acquiescence in the banning of Jews from a future Palestinian state. Why? The administration's fixation on preventing even minor construction internal to a settlement assumes that Jewish settlers are on the verge of taking over the entire West Bank. This is fanciful: The settlers live on about 1.5% of the West Bank, and comprise a very substantial majority in four major settlement blocs. In the two previous administrations, the U.S. had accepted that in any reasonable peace agreement these blocs would remain under Israeli control. The writer is a former director of Central Intelligence under President Clinton.

2009-10-12 06:00:00

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