Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Myth of the 1967 Borders

Dore Gold shows that the Green Line was not thought of as an international border until many years after it no longer existed. To my mind this doesn't mean that it cannot serve as a point of agreement between Palestinian and Israeli negotiators, but it doesn't have to. The entire "international law" narrative on the matter was invented only later, and is an anachronism.

In fact, Article II of the Armistice with the Jordanians explicitly specified that the agreement did not compromise any future territorial claims of the parties, since it had been "dictated by exclusively by military considerations." In other words, the old Armistice Line was not a recognized international border. It had no finality. As a result, the Jordanians reserved the right after 1949 to demand territories inside Israel, for the Arab side. It was noteworthy that on May 31, 1967, the Jordanian ambassador to the UN made this very point to the UN Security Council just days before the Six-Day War, by stressing that the old armistice agreement "did not fix boundaries".

After the Six-Day War, the architects of UN Security Council Resolution 242 insisted that the old armistice line had to be replaced with a new border. Thus Lord Caradon, the British ambassador to the UN admitted at the time: "I know the 1967 border very well. It is not a satisfactory border, it is where the troops had to stop." He concluded: "it is not a permanent border." His U.S. counterpart, Ambassador Arthur Goldberg, added that "historically, there have never been secure or recognized boundaries in the area"; he then added that the armistice lines did not answer that description.


NormanF said...

There were no 1967 borders and none of them made any demographic, political or security sense. Except in the minds of the Israeli Left which has forgotten what happened prior to the Six Day War - they are not sacred - any more than the 1947 partition borders were.

AKUS said...

The Green Line was an armistice line that was never accepted by the Arabs as a "border". The term "border" has been used lazily by many who have decided that it somehow defines the area of Israel proper, including,m unfortunately, Israeli spokesmen on occasion.

Hence the demand to "return to the 1967 borders".

You did not need Dore Golkd for this and your citation is a repost of well-known comments by Lord Caradon and Arthur Goldberg, and a later article by Eugene Rostow who was one of the US officials involved in drafting 242 so he knows first hand what was and was not intended. He states:

* Resolution 242, which as undersecretary of state for political affairs between 1966 and 1969 I helped produce, calls on the parties to make peace and allows Israel to administer the territories it occupied in 1967 until "a just and lasting peace in the Middle East" is achieved.

UNSCR 242 history

I am a bit surprised that you seem unaware of this and the frequent canards about the wording and intent of UNSCR 242.

Before being banned from CiF, I posted this repeatedly there, BTW.