The United States has opposed Israeli settlements in the occupied territories since 1967. But the paper trail shows that the objections were often low-key. In Washington, more attention was paid to diplomatic statements than to the “creation of facts” through settlement.
The current administration is seeking to change that pattern. To provide some historical perspective, I’ve added three U.S. diplomatic cables from the early years of settlement to South Jerusalem’s Archive of Occupation. The first, from September 1967, shows the muted U.S. response to Israel’s first official announcement that it would establish settlements.
Two others, from July 1974, show that the State Department was more interested in hushing up settlement activity than stopping it. The cables, by the way, date from the very last days of the Nixon administration, which had a certain known inclination toward cover-ups.