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In the West Bank, however, Israel is the legal military occupational authority, pending a negotiated settlement. That’s because it gained the territories in 1967 in a war of self-defense. Further, it has not forcibly transferred Arabs out or Jews in, and the land itself is not an occupied part of a sovereign country but an unallocated, disputed remnant of the Mandate. 

Perhaps the secretary-general feels like a prisoner of the institution he heads. Many U.N. members have targeted Israel for delegitimation with countless unsubstantiated—and unauthoritative—measures. Regardless, the press has an obligation to expose rather than parrot Mr. Ban’s errors. Settlements are not illegal under international law.

Eric Rozenman is Washington, D.C. director for Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA).