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Friday, August 5, 2011

Back to 1967 Borders? Good For Who?

Nadene Goldfoot
It has been advised by our young President Obama that Israel consider accepting again the 1967 borders based on winning the Six Day War from June 5, 1967 to June 11, 1967 when Egypt (United Arab Republic), Jordan and Syria attacked Israel and lost.   Israel should then  arbitrate  on the borders from that point with the Palestinians who want to claim their own state adjacent Israel.  Netanyahu was not too happy with this idea as he tried to explain to him. 

Times have changed.  In 1967 Israel had about 2,582,000 Jews.   2011 finds that Israel has a population of 7,695,000 people made up of 5,802,000 Jews, or 75.4% of the state.  Arabs make up 20.4% with 1,573,000.  They are all Israeli citizens.

Outside of Israel in Judea and Samaria,  referred to as the "West Bank,"Arabs are  including East Jerusalem in their figures.  This would be a population of 2,514,845 as of June 2010.  Arabs living in East Jerusalem are 1.5 million. 

There are 350,000 Jews living in Judea and Samaria with 210,000 Jews living in East Jerusalem as well. 

Only 30% of the Palestinians living in Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem were refugees or even descendants of refugees from 1948 when Israel was declared a state.  There are 754,263 people as of June 2008 according to UNRWA statistics.  This "West Bank" area contains 75% Muslims, 17% Jews and 8% Christians and other groups.   Hebron's population is 163,145 and Nablus has 126,132, both being the largest cities in the area.  The smallest cities are Bethlehem with 25,266 and Jericho with 18,346. 

Under Israel's jurisdiction, all places are open to the public to visit.  Under Jordan's occupation, neither Jew nor Christian could visit any holy places at all.  Sites holy to Jew or Christian were treated with great contempt and suffered from destruction. 

Israel came into occupying Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem in 1967 when surrounding Arab countries attacked and in 6 days Israel won.  During this time Jordan had illegally occupied East Jerusalem since the fighting in 1948.
On  Israel's 19th birthday of May 14, 1967, Israel's border lines were agreed on in the Armistice Agreements of 1949 with Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Egypt.  On June 5, 1967, the Israeli Air Force had to go up against Egypt to resist the invading forces from Jordan and Syria.  Ever since then Israel has been called on to return "with minor insubstantial modification". This is suggesting that such a withdrawal--from Sinai and Gaza districts to the gates of Ashkelon, from Samaria and Judea back to the 10 mile wide coastal strip, and the restoration to Syria of the Golan heights above the Huleh Valley-will bring peace between Israel and the Arab States.  This is implying that in restoring conditions that existed before June 5, 1967 , this could make things better. "  

 Israel did withdraw completely out of Gaza which has only allowed the area to become the staging ground for Arabs to fire rockets into Israel continuously since then.  Only in the past month 350 rockets have been fired into southern Israel, the most recent sending 5 people to Ashkelon's hospital because they couldn't get to shelter within the minute after the alarm.  Israel withdrew from the Sinai to have peace with Egypt which has held up since then with Mubarak, but with him caged at the age of 83,  in extreme ill health and on trial, peace with Egypt is in jeopardy if  the Muslim Brotherhood has any say in the matter.  Syria's population has their own problems in this Arab Spring with their outlandish leader's slaughter of its citizens.  How will they treat the Jewish state when this is how they are treated?  This part of the border must not be changed.  Hamas has either lost control or is just shifting the blame of the recent rocket attacks onto other terrorists from Gaza, not wanting to take the blame while advancing their goals at the UN. 

During Israel's first 25 years real peace has not been experienced.  Neighboring states since its first day have refused to accept its very existence and have forced it to fight in wars.  We cannot forget this history in considering the formation of a Palestine next door.  The War of Independence from 29 November 1947 to signing the Armistice Agreements in 1949 was a rocky beginning.  The Sinai War from 29th  October raged until the 5th of November in 1956.  President Obama would be born in 1961.  The Six Day War from the 5th to the 11 of 1967 when he was just 6 years old led to the War of Attrition lasting from 1968 until cease-fire on 7th and 8th August 1970.  Clashes occurred on the frontier lines.  Arab terrorist organizations, known as fidayun were supported by Arab governments.  They made forays into Israel to terrorize and sabatage.  Arabs were trying to wear Israel down in their determination to accept nothing less than peace with secure borders.  Fighting happened all along the entire cease fire lines, but mainly along the Suez Canal and the Jordan River.  Sporadic terrorist operations went on in the administered areas and inside Israel as well.  The Six Day War of 1967 did not bring the panacea of all time of having a peacerful border. 

Having a border in 1967 did not deter the Arabs from another stab, attacking again on October 6, 1973 on the Jews' most holy day of Yom Kippur.  Again, Egypt and Syria, the adjoining  neighbors,  staged a surprise attack while most of Israel's citizens were in synagogues in a fast.  At least 9 Arab states, including 4 non-Middle Eastern nations, actively aided the Egyptian-Syrian war effort.  Jordan's King Hussein sent forces to Syria.  An Iraqi division was sent to the Golan.  Saudi Arabia and Kuwait committed men to battle.  Libya sent fighters to Egypt.  Qaddafi had given Cairo over $1 billion.  Algeria sent aircraft squadrons of fighters and bombers, an armored brigade and 150 tanks.  About 1,000-2,000 Tunisian soldiers were fighting. Sudan sent 3,500 troops into southern Egypt and Morocco sent 3 brigades to the front lines.  2,500 men were sent to Syria.  Lebanese radar units were used by Syrian forces.  Palestinian terrorists were allowed to shell Israeli settlements from Lebanon.  Palestinians also fought on the Southern Front with the Egyptians and Kuwaitis. 

180 Israeli tanks faced 1,400 Syrian tanks in the Golan Heights.  500 Israeli soldiers were attacked by 80,000 Egyptians.  The war brought Israel deep into Syria and Egypt.  The Soviet Union backed and supplied the Arabs.  Israeli forces were able to cut off and isolate the Egyptian 3rd  Army and were ready to destroy it when the UN finally acted on October 22nd calling for all parties to cease fire.

I cannot understand how the Palestinians can expect to become a state while all the while attacking Israel.  They refuse to recognize Israel as a Jewish State and have a charter calling for Israel's destruction. Let's not make it easy for Palestinians to attack Israel by forcing Israel into tighter quarters than it finds itself now.  Defense lines should be the first consideration for Israel, not making Palestine a perfect shape. 

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