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The Editors

Obama's Betrayal of Israel at the UN Must Not Stand

Given the choice between peace and terror, there’s no room for abstention.
Crime scene.

Crime scene.

Photographer: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Barack Obama’s ill-advised decision to order the U.S. to abstain on a United Nations resolution condemning Israeli settlements breaks with past U.S. policy, undermines a vital ally and sets back the cause of Middle East peace. Yet it also offers Democrats and Republicans a chance to unite around a more realistic approach to resolving one of the world’s most intractable conflicts.

The resolution, passed last week, says Israeli settlements built on land occupied since the 1967 war have “no legal validity.” It thus brands the one-tenth of Israel’s Jews who live in East Jerusalem and the West Bank as residential outlaws, and could thereby strengthen the effort to sanction or boycott Israel, or even sue it in international bodies.