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Friday, March 23, 2012

Understanding the 1949-1967 Lines Involving Israel

Nadene Goldfoot
The 1949-1967 lines were armistice lines, boundaries of repeated wars,  and not borders recognized by Arab states.  In May 1967, Egypt's President Nasser moved 5 divisions to the Negev border and blocked the Straits of Tiran.  This is Israel's southern waterway.  Blocking it is an act of war under international law. 

Israel responded during the 6 Day War and in doing so took the Sinai, the Golan Heights and the West Bank.  The Golan Heights is where Syria had massed 3 divisions and where they had bombarded Israeli cities for the previous 19 years.  The West Bank (named by Jordan which Israelis call the ancient names of Samaria and Judea) is where guerrilla raids were launched after 1949 and now where Hamas constantly fires missiles, rockets and mortars into southern Israel. 

Since 1967 the Arab states have refused to negotiate directly with Israel, no matter how hard the USA has put pressure on them.  They continue to refuse to recognize Israel's right to exist.  They refuse to normalize relations.  Israel has constantly stated her willingness to return territories and has done so to Egypt. 

In May of 2011, Obama shocked Netanyahu by saying on TV that the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 67 lines and mutually agreed upon swaps.  Netanyahu repeated for the 2nd time that it was an indefensible line.  The reason many think why Netanyahu  was so alarmed is because such a US Policy would be giving the Palestinians land without  conceding any points.  It showed a USA policy shift.  It would be establishing a Palestinian state before any of the issues were resolved that must come first according to the UN Resolutions. 

UN Resolution 242 is from the 1967 period.  Resolution 338 is from 1973.  These both call for all parties to get into direct negotiations and  end all claims of belligerence.  Both are to respect and acknowledge the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every state in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force. 

Israel has made it clear that she cannot surrender land vital to security until there is evidence of meaningful Arab accommodation, compromise and conciliation according to the UN resolutions.  You'd think this would have caused the Palestinians to be friendly and cooperative, but they only have increased their shelling of Israel.  After reading the Compact of the Muslim Brotherhood and Qaradowi's, the unofficial leader of the Muslim Brotherhood's Religious Goals and  statements, I can see why Israel has not had a willing partner with the PA. 

Resource: Jewish Digest December 1975 page 7 Myth: Israel is obligated to with-draw to lines existing before 1967.

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