Saturday, May 21, 2011

There are no "1967 borders"

As we've noted many times, there are no "1967 borders" for Israel.  There are only armistice lines, drawn in green ink on a map in 1949 to demarcate the point where Israeli and Jordanian armies suspended battle following the first Arab-Israeli war.  Those lines left Israel 9 miles wide at the neck and invited Jordanian shelling in 1967.  The armistice agreement incidentally, specifically stipulated that the green line was not to be viewed as an official border and that nether party would be relinquishing claims to disputed territory on either side of the line (Jordan ultimately did relinquish all claims to Judea and Samaria, aka the "West Bank").

That history doesn't prevent Reuters from continually misstating it:
In an unusually sharp rebuke to Israel's closest ally, Netanyahu insisted Israel would never pull back to its 1967 borders -- which would mean big concessions of occupied land -- that Obama had said should be the basis for negotiations on creating a Palestinian state. 
The misnomer of 1967 borders is more than simply semantic.  In discussions of how the remaining unallocated portions of the Palestine Mandate might be divided between Israel and the Arabs in a settlement of the conflict, it's critical to note that Israel has no recognized border with the Arab world to the East.  Absent some portion of Judea and Samaria being integrated into Israel, the country would remain 9 miles wide and vulnerable to future attack.

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