Dear Editor: I disagree with the Cap Times Nov. 27 editorial centering on Rep. Pocan’s contention that Trump’s Middle East foreign policy shows “(he — Trump) doesn’t want peace, (he) wants instability,” which doesn’t “bring us any closer to peace.” The Cap Times declares “It represents a major break with the U.S. policy of opposing settlements — a policy that has historically been accepted by both Republican and Democratic administrations”.

I actually agree with all of that as far as it goes, but it doesn’t go nearly far enough. Just as U.S. media and policymakers haven’t gone nearly far enough debating the measures proposed to get us “closer to peace,” for more than two generations.

Disregarding the obvious political aspects of “legalizing” settlements for Prime Minister Netanyahu’s political benefit, consider only the facts. Settlement expansion, which — shortly after Israel knew they were illegal — ensued nearly unabated throughout the '80s and '90s. Then a brief stall during the 2003 Iraq War followed by a period of frantic expansion in the face of Obama’s opposition and Trump’s support.

U.S. policy has been to veto momentous UNSC resolutions that were intended to force Israel to comply with its rulings, with the result that Palestinians have remained prisoners in Palestine indefinitely.

So to Mr. Pocan and our editor, who appear sanguine that all roads will be made straight by international law, let me offer this reminder: well before you were born, that promise — which was held dearly by all and especially those who were expecting some justice — has stayed broken all of their lives, the lives of their children, and their children’s children.

Keeping it means keeping up with the facts on the ground and a debate that’s moved well beyond a blind recitation of a failed, quarter-century-old and outdated Oslo Accords.

John Costello


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