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Hardly ‘illegitimate’
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Hardly ‘illegitimate’

Jared Silverman’s excellent piece (“Has U.S. lost touch with Mideast  reality?” Nov. 7) is in need of a comprehensive book, given the vastness  of the subject.

Let it be said that John Kerry’s constantly repeated mantra that Jewish settlements are “illegitimate” is based on totally ignorant premises. They are undoubtedly devoid of knowledge of international law and history.

At an absolute minimum, they  need to become acquainted with UN Resolution 242. The crafting of this resolution was done under the scrutiny of a Democrat President, Lyndon B. Johnson, not short on history or such meaningful words as “secure and recognized boundaries.”

Professor Eugene Rostow noted that following a “just and lasting  peace,” Israel was to withdraw its armed forces from “some of the territories, which included the Sinai Desert, the West Bank, the Golan Heights, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.”

Stephen Schwebel, former judge of the International Court of Justice,  addressed the presence of Egypt and Jordan during the period from 1948 to 1967. He concluded that Israel had a better claim on Palestine, including all of Jerusalem, than did Jordan and Egypt. Australian jurist Julius Stone agreed on this as a fact of territorial rights under international law.

In regard to the refugee problem, on Nov. 17,1958, Abba Eban, addressing the UN, declared, “The Arab refugee problem was caused by a war of aggression launched by the Arab states against Israel in 1948. If there had been no war against Israel, with its consequent harvest of bloodshed, misery, panic, and flight, there would be no problem.”

Alex Rose
Ashkelon, Israel

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