The Israeli government seems determined to continue alienating world opinion. Its latest land grab in captured Arab territory takes Israel further toward an international isolation that must be prevented if the brave little democracy is to genuinely have the security it seeks.
Property owenrs, most of them Arabs, are promised to be compensated at government-assessed rates. Illegal Arab buildi ng threatening to separate Jewish neighborhoods was cited as a reason for the government takeover of a thousand acres on the outskirts of Jerusalem.
But Israel will get no sympathy for what looks like pointed defiance of the United Natins in the wake of the unanimous Security Council condemnation of Israel's settlement policy in the occupied territories "including Jerusalem." As for Israel's main ally, the United States, its patience once again is sorely tested by the kind of action that flies in the face of President Carter's disapproval of the settlement policy. His lame disavowal of America's Security Council vote against Israel does not conceal a diminishing Washington toleration of Israeli transgressions.
Support for Israeli security is not at issue. The US commitment remains firm. Nor is there an intention to destroy Israeli security in the growing European movement in favor of Palestinian rights. France recently went beyond recognizing Palestinians" "legitimate rights" to joining Kuwait in a specific affirmation of their right to self-determination. European Community members are considering an initiative to refer to Palestinian rights by name in a revision of UN Resolution 242.
President Carter cannot ignore such currents of opinion. Neither should Israel as it contemplates whether to continue defying the law and the good opinion of mankind or tuen from such a dangerous and lonely course for the benefit of its own people's peace and security.