Despite America's longstanding position considering Israeli settlements illegitimate, successive administrations have done very little to stop the expansion of the settlement enterprise. Israel continues to build these settlements unabatedly, precisely because America's position is void of any substantive action.
Two weeks ago I stood on the Mount of Olives looking out over Jerusalem and I wept. I did not cry just for Jerusalem, but for the whole region of Israel and Palestine. I was there because my Chicago Theological Seminary colleague, Rabbi Rachel Mikva, and I teach a Study Tour about every two years. This year the whole trip was strikingly different.
Both leaders were engaged in empty rhetoric and slogans for domestic consumption instead of proposing new, credible and constructive initiatives to resume the negotiations that could lead to a peace agreement, which should have been the thrust of their appearances at the UNGA. That, however, was not -- and still is not -- the case.