The remarkable decision by the State Department to declare that Israeli settlements on the disputed territories of the West Bank are not inherently illegal or illegitimate has already occasioned the bringing-out of the foreign policy smelling salts. The New York Times’s news story instantly declared that this might “doom any peace efforts with Palestinians,” as though there are any peace efforts with the Palestinians to doom right now or in the foreseeable future.

The decade-long withdrawal of the Palestinians from any realistic effort to forge a future for themselves in a land they might take as a state—following a decade of specious pseudo-negotiations torpedoed by Palestinians when and if they ever got anywhere near a resolution, after which Palestinians began a three-year terror war—is the only fact on the ground when it comes to “peace” and the West Bank. (Meanwhile, Israel is girding for a potential two-front war with Iranian proxies launched from Gaza and Lebanon.)

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