Time for Israel to Define Its Borders


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If the Palestinians unilaterally declare a State of Palestine this year as they say they will, everything changes. This is not the first time they have announced such an intention: twelve years ago they proposed the same thing but took it no further. This time it seems they mean to do what they say, and if they do, all resolutions, agreements, proposals made in the past for the ending of the Arab-Israeli conflict by negotiation become instantly irrelevant. Resolution 242, Oslo, the Road Map … all will be dead.

The UN Security Council Resolution 242, pursuant to which the parties were to negotiate a settlement, envisaged the establishment of borders within which Israelis should be able to live in peace. Forty-four years have passed, and Israel’s borders are still not fixed and Israelis still do not live in peace.

The Oslo Accords called for a five-year transitional period in which Israel would withdraw forces from occupied territories and accept the creation of a Palestinian Authority in exchange for security undertakings by the Palestinians. This arrangement was supposed to lead to a permanent peace settlement. The agreement was signed September 17, 1993.  More than seventeen years later a peace settlement is no nearer.

The Road Map for Peace – “a performance-based roadmap to a permanent two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict” – was put forward by “the Quartet” of the European Union, Russia, the United Nations and the United States, on September 17, 2002.  More than eight years have passed and the conflict continues.

There have also been the failed Camp David and Taba Summits – July 2000 and January  2001 -  which were likewise concerned with Israel’s borders. And the Arab Peace Initiative, 2002 and 2007, had the same aims and met with the same failure.

Now the establishment of a State of Palestine, recognized by many if not all other countries, means there will be no more of all that.  No more discussion of the “right of return” of Arab refugees. No more “land for peace”. And no more negotiations under international auspices over where borders should be drawn.

The Palestinians want to declare a state without defining their borders. Temporarily, they say, they will claim all the territory of erstwhile Mandate Palestine outside the armistice lines of 1949, drawn when Israel survived the invasion of Arab armies and won its War of Independence.  (These lines are commonly referred to as “the 1967 borders,” meaning those Israel had until it fought off invasion in the  Six Day War of June 1967, and expanded its territory by conquest.)

Why only temporarily? With those frontiers, wouldn’t the Palestinians have all the territory the world considers they have a right to?

Oh, yes. And that’s what they fear. If they accept those borders as permanent, they will have accepted Israel’s permanent borders too.  They will have accepted the existence of the State of Israel, so there would be no pretext for refusing peace. And that is what they have resisted doing all these years since the Arabs rejected Resolution 181 of November 1947 which offered a Palestinian state side-by-side with Israel and went to war instead.

In order to have peace, Israel went on proposing the creation of a Palestinians state as an inducement to the Arabs to agree on secure borders. Over and over again, the Palestinians balked. In all the years that they have been negotiating under Resolution 242, the very last thing the Palestinians wanted was an agreement on borders.

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  • Fred Dawes

    what is happening in Israel is the way to left wing has taken over the government and if the jews do not stand up and tell its government what to do its all over with, just like the USA And it is all over with here right now in San Diego whites( read Americans white eurpeans do not have dual citiznship like all hispanics ) are down to only 48 percent of the population which will be by 2040 60 percent with as much as 30 percent of chinese which will run this part of the FORMER USA. within 75 years if not stopped whites will disappear from the USA. ITS CALLED SLOW Holocaust.

  • Henach

    "There could be no more talk then of 'occupation' " ? Wrong. The slanders against Israel are based on political considerations, economic dreams, and from Europe an age-old many-centuries war against the Jews.
    When Israel was about to leave the Gaza Strip, remove 9000 Jewish residents forcefully from their homes and communities there, and remove IDF forces from there, it was said that this would bring about international support for Israel. In fact, it demonstrated weakness on the part of Israel, and brought about the opposite.

  • Albert Bello

    To define the borders may be easy if the PA recognizes 1) Israel as the State for the Jews, 2) Palestinian State to be demilitarized, 3) No refugees right of return to the Israel proper. Unfortunately, Palestinian leaders seem not to agree to the above, neither today nor in the future. Therefore, Palestinian territories might remain occupied for a long time. Jillian Baker fully aware that Israel have had declared: Borders to be defined after all conditions accepted. Otherwise, agreement is just another temporary ceasefire with the enemy. Isn’t what Palestinians are seeking: To remain enemies ?

  • Aryerushalayim

    The Land of Israel is from the Jordan to the Sea, from Eilat to the Golan. Non-citizen arabs to be transferred east, north and southwest. Citizen arabs are given qualified citizenship which includes civil and religious rights but not political rights.
    The use of the word Palestine, West Bank, in any form to describe current people, places and events is inaccurate and a propaganda tool for those who hate Israel.

  • GoodEnemy

    You can definitely copy, repost, or email mine to anyone including lobbying senators, state representatives and any other public officials who shape our country’s foreign policies.

    The main Zionist claim is that they have a supreme right to some of Palestinian territory because they lived there thousands of years ago. Let’s examine the core and real nature of this claim.
    Firstly, this claim is mistaken and selfish in its core concept because Zionists fail to recognize that history is a continuum and that there were other people living in majority in Palestine before the Jews and also after the Jews. Zionists simply cut history at a convenient point for them and claim ancestral ties to the land as of that convenient point.

    Secondly, whatever the claim, it is beyond absurd to try to shape modern world based on thousands of years old maps. Imagine if the rest of the world would be reshaped by who was on the land thousands of years ago. It would cause horrific wars, countless refugees, and unimaginable human suffering, exactly what is happening in Palestine.

    Thirdly and most disturbing, Zionist goal was to establish a Jewish state wherever possible. Palestine may have been a preference, but Palestine was not the only location that Zionists planned as their state in modern times. Another location was Argentina where Jews have been migrating for hundreds of years for the purpose of establishing a state. Also, locations in Europe were on the list and that’s why the Catholic Church was killing/expelling Jews since Roman times (read the history of the Holly Inquisition). Whatever the location, Zionist plan was to simply occupy the people living on the land even if that would mean imposing a regime worst than Nazi Germany’s from which they escaped. And Zionists would just use a different ideological coloring than the one used in Palestine in the attempt to rationalize the occupation.

    In conclusion, the main claim on which the Zionist regime is built in Palestine is erroneous, selfish, and a lie. I am categorically against generalizing, and recognize that many Jews are against the crimes the Zionist regime is committing and that many Jews are leading the global resistance to it. They should be proud

  • GreySky

    If it is ever reached, the current and any other artificial “peace agreement” will be illegitimate before it is ever signed because (1) all people living in Palestine regardless of religion, race, origin, etc. (hereinafter “All People of Palestine”) were never given a choice on how they want their land to be governed, and (2) all contracts signed under duress are null and void.
    The biggest problem in Palestine is that the Zionist regime never offered a choice to All People of Palestine on how they want to govern their land because the Zionist regime cannot exist as a democratic entity. If there was ever any democratic process in Palestine, Zionists would have been outvoted and the Zionist regime would have never existed. That is why the Zionist regime is the occupier because it does not offer choice (i.e. democracy), but instead imposes its regime (i.e. occupies). Imagine if Russians would simply occupy a town in the U.S. where they are in significant numbers and attempt to create a Russian state there without giving the rest of the Americans living there a choice. Imagine then if they would try to institute a “peace agreement” that would attempt to legitimize their occupation. The “peace agreement” would logically and legally be illegitimate because the Americans were not given a choice.

    Under all countries’ laws, any contract is null and void if it is signed under duress. The current Palestine “peace agreement” process reminds me of The Godfather movie where the mafia boss (i.e. the Zionist regime) made a guy “an offer he could not refuse” by placing a gun (i.e. Zionist conventional and nuclear arsenal) to his head and making him sign the contract. Like the mafia boss’ offer, any “peace agreement” other than the choice for All People of Palestine is a crime, and the contract is legally null and void.

    The bottom line is that All People of Palestine never wanted to divide their land into artificial two states the way the occupation and this “peace agreement” attempt to divide it. From the beginning of the Zionist regime to its unavoidable end, All People of Palestine and the region never wanted the Zionist regime and they do not want it even more after all the atrocities the Zionist regime committed. I just cannot believe how the Zionist regime can be so ignorant to think that this or any other “peace agreement” that does not allow people to choose how they want to be governed will last and ensure its people’s survival. The Zionist regime fails to realize that no matter if it succeeds in muscling this “peace agreement” by unspeakable historic coercion tens of millions of moral people around the world will oppose it until it is corrected, and until justice and free choice prevail. Also, ever increasing number of Jewish people are realizing that Zionism is becoming a destructive force for them and are leading the global resistance to it