LETTER: US embassy ploy is threat to peace

From Mr Rob Kent

Sir: Patrick Cockburn is wrong to report that Senator Bob Dole had "hitherto shown little interest in the location of the US embassy in Israel" before introducing his congressional bill to relocate it to Jerusalem ("US embassy plan adds to Jerusalem land row", 10 May). In the past, Senator Dole opposed congressional resolutions giving credence to Israel's claim to Jerusalem as its capital. In 1990, he pointed out that such a motion

declares on an issue that our government - and many outside observers - see as better left to negotiations among the parties involved, rather than decided by unilateral action.

Sadly, Senator Dole is now trying to outflank the most pro-Israel president for decades through a crude appeal to the Zionist lobby.

Unfortunately, international law will be ignored by Israel's supporters in America. However, it forbids the acquisition of territory by force. After the Israeli parliament claimed "Jerusalem, complete and united" as "the capital of Israel" in 1980, UN Security Council Resolution 478 declared the annexation to be illegal.

If American politicians believed that there were votes and campaign contributions in upholding Palestinian rights under international law, the prospects for the peace process would be brighter.

Yours faithfully,



10 May