Paris Peace Conference Ignored French Court Ruling on Israeli Settlements

(Wall Street Journal) Editorial - The conferees in Paris on Sunday should have first checked what French courts have to say about Israeli settlements and international law before criticizing Israel. In 2013 the French Court of Appeals in Versailles ruled that, contrary to Palestinian arguments, Jewish settlements don't violate the Geneva Conventions' prohibition against an occupying power transferring "its civilian population into the territory it occupies." The law, the court held, bars government efforts to transfer populations. But it doesn't bar private individuals settling in the disputed territories. The Paris conference adopted the premise that settlements are illegal as a matter of settled law. Yet the French court makes a nonsense of that judgment simply by looking at what the Geneva Conventions say, rather than basing its judgment on a legally meaningless "international consensus." The Paris conference makes untenable territorial demands on Israel and gives Palestinians the hope that they can achieve their aims without making compromises. The reality is that Israel will never return to the 1967 lines. Moreover, no Palestinian state is going to come into existence so long as it is run by kleptocrats in the West Bank and jihadists in Gaza. The next time a similar conference is organized, it would do better to address Palestinian capacity for responsible self-government.

2017-01-19 00:00:00

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