The United Nations Security Council last month passed Resolution 2334, which states that Israeli settlements have “no legal basis.” The resolution made the mistake of only looking at one side of the map. To complete the job, the U.N. should pass a resolution that condemns Palestinian maximalist claims with the same sharp legal language it used for Israeli claims. In the absence of that, the U.N. resolution and the coming Paris peace conference will do more harm than good to the prospects of peace and justice.
Resolution 2334 forcefully reasserted the 1949 Armistice line—also known as the pre-1967 line or Green Line—which separates the West Bank from the state of Israel. The resolution took great pains to delineate the lines in clear language. It called the entire territory east of that line “Palestinian Territory.” It then asserted that the establishment of Israeli settlements in that territory had “no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law.”
The resolution also said that it will not “recognize any changes” to the lines, “other than those agreed by the parties through negotiation.” Contradicting U.N. Resolution 242 from 1967, it essentially gave all the land to the Palestinians and took away from Israel all leverage in future negotiations.