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May 23, 2011

Dore Gold Explains '67 Lines

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, the president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and former UN ambassador explains:

Remember that before the Six Day War, those lines in the West Bank only demarcated where five Arab armies were halted in their invasion of the nascent state of Israel 19 years earlier. Legally, they formed only an armistice line, not a recognized international border. No Palestinian state ever existed that could have claimed these prewar lines. Jordan occupied the West Bank after the Arab invasion, but its claim to sovereignty was not recognized by any U.N. members except Pakistan and the U.K. As Jordan's U.N. ambassador said before the war, the old armistice lines "did not fix boundaries." Thus the central thrust of Arab-Israeli diplomacy for more than 40 years was that Israel must negotiate an agreed border with its Arab neighbors.

The cornerstone of all postwar diplomacy was U.N. Security Council Resolution 242, passed in November 1967. It did not demand that Israel pull back completely to the pre-1967 lines. Its withdrawal clause only called on Israel to withdraw "from territories," not from all territories. Britain's foreign secretary at the time, George Brown, later underlined the distinction: "The proposal said 'Israel will withdraw from territories that were occupied,' and not from 'the' territories, which means that Israel will not withdraw from all the territories."

Posted by at May 23, 2011 12:34 PM


Kinda looks like the Arabs want to start where they left off 63 years ago. That way they can cancel any losses since then. It is a no go.

Posted by: RWG at May 23, 2011 02:55 PM

In 1964, purporting to speak on behalf of the Palestinian people, the PLO disclaimed territorial sovereignty over both Gaza and the West Bank, which were to remain Egypt's and Jordan's.

Posted by: Ben at May 23, 2011 04:45 PM

There are already two Palestinian States - Israel and Jordan; formed form the larger Trans-Jordan configuration which followed WW 1. To say that a third Palestinian State must now be created, when the present organizations on the land (PA and Hamas) maintain genocidal clauses in their charters, is absurd. There is no gain in creating a terror state.

Posted by: Rod at May 29, 2011 10:42 AM

The PLO has for years tried to make the 1967 armistice lines fixed boundaries for their new state. Dore Gold's explanation, once again, shows the background of U.N. resolution 242, the fact that there was never a Palestinian State in that region, and that the resolution was carefully worded so as not to set the boundaries of a new state. It can and has been tacitly used as a starting point for negotiations but it cannot be stated to be an already fixed boundary of a nascent state.

Posted by: Emanuel A. Herz at May 29, 2011 10:48 AM

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