With john Kerry poking his hairdo into Israeli sovereignty, it’s a good time to revisit why Israel must act now to secure peace.
It’s long past time to incorporate Judea and Samaria into Israel proper.
Resolution 242 is best known for its famous withdrawal clause, which did not call on Israel to pull back to the pre-war 1967 lines. While the Soviet Union insisted that the resolution specifically call for “a withdrawal from all the territories occupied” by Israel in the Six-Day War, the U.S. and Britain countered with very different phraseology that was reflected in the final draft, that was eventually adopted by all 15 members of the Security Council. It would only state that there had to be a withdrawal “from territories.”
The U.S. and Britain recognized that the pre-1967 line had only been an armistice line from 1949 and was not a final international border. Indeed, Article 2 of the original 1949 Armistice Agreement between Israel and Jordan clearly stipulated that it did not prejudice the territorial “claims and positions” of the parties since its provisions were “dictated exclusively by military considerations.”
The British, under Prime Minister Harold Wilson, were the main drafters of Resolution 242. Their Ambassador to the U.N. in 1967, Lord Caradon, clarified what the language of the withdrawal clause meant in an interview published in 1976 in the Journal of Palestine Studies: “We could have said, ‘Well, you go back to the 1967 line.’ But I know the 1967 line, and it’s a rotten line. You couldn’t have a worse line for a permanent international boundary. It’s where the troops happened to be on a certain night in 1948. It’s got no relation to the needs of the situation. Had we said that you must go back to the 1967 line, which would have resulted if we had specified a retreat from all the occupied territories, we would have been wrong.”
Any Israeli withdrawal had to be to “secure and recognized borders,” as the resolution stated.
Lord Caradon’s American counterpart, Arthur Goldberg, fully supported this interpretation repeatedly over the years, such as in his 1988 statement: “The resolution stipulates withdrawal from occupied territories without defining the extent of withdrawal.” Goldberg was a legal scholar who served previously on the U.S. Supreme Court, before coming to the U.N.
This is not just “interpretation”, this is hard fact. That’s how it was written, and that’s how it was meant. It’s funny how the “international community” conveniently forgets treaties and accords when they favor Jews. See the Balfour Declaration, and see the League of Nations concordance with the establishment of a Jewish State on ALL the land in dispute (and Jordan too, originally).
But there’s more that Resolution 242 does not say:
There were no land swaps in Resolution 242. Nor was there any corridor crossing Israeli sovereign territory so that the West Bank could be connected to the Gaza Strip (just as there is no land corridor across Canada connecting Alaska to the rest of the U.S.). These diplomatic innovations were thought of by negotiators in the 1990s, but Israel in no way is required to agree to them, according to Resolution 242.
One of the intriguing aspects of Resolution 242 was that it said nothing about Jerusalem. In a letter to The New York Times on March 6, 1980, Arthur Goldberg wrote: “Resolution 242 in no way refers to Jerusalem, and this omission was deliberate.” He explained that he never described Jerusalem as “occupied territory.” Goldberg was reacting to the policy of the Carter administration, which was criticizing Israeli construction practices in east Jerusalem and misrepresenting Israel’s legal rights. Goldberg believed that the status of Jerusalem had to be negotiated, but he insisted that “Jerusalem was not to be divided again.”
There you go. Those are the legal facts on the ground. Israel has tried negotiating in good faith for decades, with only intifadas and Qassam rockets to show for it. They have returned the Sinai and Gaza—more than 90% of all “occupied” territory. Anything less than full Israeli sovereignty, now, over the provinces of Judea and Samaria is a crime—against man’s law and God’s. It was so yesterday, it is today, and will be for however long such a crime persists.