The price of working for the Washington Post is abandoning your principles and your soul. In its place, Jennifer Rubin, George Will and Max Boot have substituted lefty virtue signaling and frantic arm waving even as they betray whatever they claimed to believe in 2016.
Here’s Max Boot selling out Israel with some of the silliest arm waving to date in his attempt to cast doubt on President Trump’s recognition of Israel’s presence on the Golan Heights. It’s hard work because the other side claiming the territory is Assad.
Criticizing Trump’s move requires either arguing that the same regime whose overthrow they had recently called for deserves to get a strategic high ground from which Iran can attack Israel. Or take refuse in assorted meaningless claims of general principles.
Boot can’t go full Assadist yet. So he has to wave his arms twice as hard.
Territorial integrity was listed as both the first and second war aims agreed to by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in the 1941 Atlantic Charter:
We’re going to ’41 then?
Acting on this principle, the United States never recognized Russian sovereignty over the Baltic states or, today, over Crimea.
But had no problem carving up the territorial integrity of Yugoslavia. Boot, among many others, wanted us to dive into Syria. Boot’s Post had published an op-ed calling for dividing Syria.
U.S. troops fought to prevent South Korea, South Vietnam and Kuwait from being swallowed by aggressors. The United States was even willing to risk nuclear Armageddon to prevent the conquest of tiny West Berlin.
Because we were opposed to Communism. Not fixated on some obsession with territorial integrity. Even if the countries in question had no apparent right to that territory.
If we could have liberated North Korea, we would have. Territorial integrity be damned.
The sacred principle of territorial integrity lies at the heart of U.N. Security Council Resolution 242, adopted with U.S. and Israeli support in 1967 after Israel fought the Six-Day War to preempt Arab aggression. This resolution called for “Withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict,” but by omitting “the” in front of “territories,” it left vague which land was to be evacuated. The resolution went on to call for “acknowledgment of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force.”
By accepting this resolution, the Arab states and eventually the Palestinian Authority de facto agreed to Israel’s right to exist.
That explains the Yom Kippur War in 1973.
This led to Egyptian and Jordanian recognition of the Jewish state, and to lengthy negotiations with the Palestinians over the West Bank and Gaza Strip and with the Syrians over the Golan Heights.
Even by Boot’s standards, his claim that 242 led to negotiations with Assad, and Egyptian, Jordanian recognition, rather than Israel’s victory in the Yom Kippur War, is baffling at best.
Now Trump has killed 242 just as surely as he has killed all standards of presidential decorum.
No one has been contesting Israeli control over the Golan Heights. Trump is stirring up a controversy where none existed
Someone might want to tell that to the UN, Syria and Boot’s bosses at the Washington Post.
With this typically thoughtless and impetuous act, Trump is opening a Pandora’s box where states are allowed to change international borders by force. He is making not just Netanyahu but also Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping very happy.
Because Vlad and Xi were just waiting for this before invading other countries and seizing their territory.
Boot has become a clown. A sad clown.
Perhaps just as important from Trump’s perspective is Netanyahu’s willingness to flatter him with Pence-esque fervor. As a result, Trump is giving the Israeli leader a valuable gift that any normal president would have held back in return for substantial Israeli concessions on settlements.
So the issue isn’t really territorial integrity, it’s that Trump isn’t using it to pressure Israel into making concessions to Islamic terrorists.