Sunday, December 4, 2011

UN Resolution 242


By Charles A. Morse
web posted April 15, 2002

A chorus of nations, including the US, is presently calling for
Israel to withdraw from the West Bank so that another
Palestinian state can be created. This in spite of ongoing attacks
against Israeli men, women and children. The Palestinian
Authority asks the world to recognize its sovereignty while, in
violation of the Oslo Accords, they offer safe haven to militias
who arm themselves and carry out offensive military operations
against Israel. Besides offering sanctuary to Hamas, Hizbollah,
and Islamic Jihad, who openly declare their intention to destroy
Israel, the Tanzim, Force 17, and the al Asqa Brigades, wings of
the PA itself, have also committed acts of aggression. By well-
established standards of international law and custom, such acts
constitute a military invasion of a sovereign nation. Israel has a
moral right to protect the lives and property of its citizens from
such attacks. This is exactly what U.N. Security Council
Resolution 242 provides for.

Yaffah Batya DeCosta, guest columnist on Chuckmorse.com,
shrewdly analyses this U.N. resolution, passed November 22,
1967, which calls for the following:

a. Withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in
the recent conflict.

b. Termination of all claims or states of belligerence and respect
for and acknowledgement 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."

DeCosta notes that Resolution 242 does not specifically call for
Israel to withdraw to the 1949-1967 Armistice lines that were
cease-fire borders that were never recognized by any Arab or
Islamic State. The resolution only calls for Israel to withdraw
"from territories" but not all territories. The word "all" does not
appear in the resolution. Clearly the resolution does not consider
the 1949-1967 armistice lines to constitute "secure and
recognized boundaries." In fact, these boundaries were
considered to be, and remain, invitations to war.

Resolution 242 does not call for the creation of another
Palestinian state, only the "political independence of every state
in the area." In 1967, there was no talk of creating another
Palestinian state in land previously controlled by
Jordan/Palestine. Resolution 242 also does not ban Jews from
living in this region and does not suggest that Jews be evacuated.
Perhaps, at the time, it was considered unfashionable to put such
a racist and apartheid agenda into words.

On April 4, 2000, in a full page ad in the Israeli daily Ha'aretz,
the Ariel Center for Policy Research published some interesting
background information on UN Resolution 242 under the
headline "The Golan Heights and the Facts - UN Security
Council Resolution 242 - A withdrawal to the 1949/1967 Lines?
" President Lyndon B. Johnson is quoted in the ad, regarding a
withdrawal to the armistice lines, as saying that "This is not a
proscription for peace, but for a renewal of hostilities" in an
address he delivered June 19, 1967. Johnson stated, "It is clear
however, that a return to the situation of June 4, 1967, will not
bring peace. There must be secure and there must be recognized
borders..." in an address he delivered Sept. 10, 1968.

Regarding UN Resolution 242, President Ronald Reagan stated,
"In the pre-1967 borders, Israel was barely 10 miles wide at its
narrowest point. The bulk of Israel's population lived within
artillery range of hostile Arab armies. I am not about to ask
Israel to live that way again" in an address he delivered Sept. 1,
1982. Secretary of State George Schultz stated, "Israel will
never negotiate from, or return to, the lines of partition or the
1967 borders" in an address he delivered Sept. 16, 1988.

According to The Washington Institute for Near East Policy,
Lord Caradon, British Ambassador to the UN and author of
242, resisted a suggestion from Soviet UN Ambassador
Kuznetsov to specify the word "all" before the word "territories"
and to drop the word "recognized." With Lord Caradon's
refusal, the Soviets presented their own draft calling for total
withdrawal to the armistice lines. The British version of the
Resolution would go on to be adopted by a unanimous vote of
the Security Council.

Arthur Goldberg, American Ambassador to the UN and
contributor to 242 stated "...The notable omissions in regard to
withdrawal...are the words "all," "the," and "the June 5, 1967
lines"...There is lacking a declaration requiring Israel to withdraw
from all of the territories occupied by it on, and after, June 5,
1967" President Johnson's Undersecretary of State Eugene
Debs Rostow, a contributor to 242 states "UN 242 calls on
Israel to withdraw only from territories occupied in the course of
the Six Day War - that is, not from "all" the territories or even
from "the" territories...Ingeniously drafted resolutions calling for
withdrawal from "all" the territory were defeated in the Security
Council and the General Assembly one after another. Speaker
after speaker made it explicit that Israel was not to be forced
back to the "fragile and vulnerable"(1949-1967) Armistice
Demarcation Lines..."

President Johnson, a few days before the UN vote on Resolution
242, according to Professor Ezra Zohar in "A Concubine in the
Middle East" (Geffen Publishing, p. 39) summoned UN
Ambassador Goldberg and Undersecretary Rostow to formulate
the US position on the issue of "secure boundaries" for Israel.
They were presented with a map, devised by Chairman of the
Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Earle Wheeler, which included the
"minimum territory needed by Israel for defensive purposes." The
map included the entire Golan Heights and the mountain ridges of
Judea and Samaria. The participants of this meeting agreed that
the Pentagon map fulfilled the requirements of 242 concerning
"secure borders."

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