Saturday, December 24, 2016

Changing times

For a bit of context on the conservative "outrage" over the Obama Administration abstention on the UN Security Council Israeli settlements resolution, consider the Reagan Administration position on settlements 34 years ago; the context is that immediately after a Reagan initiative in September 1982 that the Palestinian territories could have autonomy in an association arrangement with Jordan, Israel announced -- as usual when any initiative is unveiled -- new settlement activities:

The United States regards the Israeli announcement of its intention to establish additional settlements as most unwelcome. We cannot understand why, at a time when broader participation in the peace process is both critical and possible, Israel has elected to extend a pattern of activity which erodes the confidence of all, and most particularly the inhabitants of the West Bank and Gaza for a just and fairly negotiated outcome to the peace process. Moreover, such settlement activities can only raise questions about Israel's willingness to abide by the promise of U.N. Resolution 242 that territory will be exchanged for peace. The United States will not alter its stand on settlements. We will persist in our efforts to help Israel understand how damaging its settlements are to the peace we are all trying to achieve and how seriously we take this issue.

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