Richard Cohen's defense of Jeffrey Goldberg's New Yorker article caricaturing Jewish settlers as mentally unstable, abusive and physically repellent religious zealots dismissed my Jerusalem Post op-ed piece that characterized Mr. Goldberg's article as "distorted and sloppy with facts" [op-ed, June 15]. Mr. Cohen said, "What really matters is not this or that fact . . . but his overall point." But the "overall point" is wrong if facts are distorted or missing.

Mr. Goldberg omitted even one reference to the Allon plan, a peace formula followed for a decade after the Six Day War that established settlements in strategic areas of the West Bank to help protect Israel against aggression from neighboring Arab states. Developed not by the right-leaning Likud Party but by the Labor Party, the plan accorded with the perspectives of U.N. Resolution 242's framers, who noted that the 1949 armistice lines, which existed until 1967, were artificial and invited further attacks. The carefully worded resolution assumed Israel would not make a full withdrawal.

Mr. Goldberg's lurid portraits of people with "bulbous eyes," "outsized teeth" and "fingernails [that] were chewed and dirty" were used to embody the entire settlement question. Absent were the existential issues raised for Israel by possible concessions in the West Bank.


Executive Director

Committee for Accuracyin Middle East

Reporting in America

Brighton, Mass.