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May 17, 2011

The 1967 Armistice Line was an Armistice Line

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Writing in Ha'aretz about Benjamin Netanyahu's recent speech, columnist Akiva Eldar complains that

the truly important things were those not said in the speech. Netanyahu did not let the magic number that all of the world's leaders expected to hear cross his lips: 1967. The key to the negotiating room is Israeli recognition of the borders of the fourth of June 1967.

This may fairly describe the Palestinian negotiating position. But in fact there was no international border on June 4, 1967. The line between Israel and the Jordanian-occupied West Bank in place then was the armistice line from 1949. And the drafters of United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 have repeatedly made clear that the Security Council does not regard it as a "border" to which Israel should return.

For example, British UN representative Lord Caradon had explained:

It would have been wrong to demand that Israel return to its positions of 4 June 1967 because those positions were undesirable and artificial. After all, they were just the places the soldiers of each side happened to be the day the fighting stopped in 1948. They were just armistice lines. That's why we didn't demand that the Israelis return to them and I think we were right not to ...

Posted by at May 17, 2011 02:41 PM

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