It Returned 90% of the Territories Gained in the Six-Day War
© 2009, Eli E. Hertz 1 242 Graph
UN Security Council Resolution 242, adopted on November 22, 1967, is
the cornerstone for what it calls “a just and lasting peace” that recognizes Israel’s need
for “secure and recognized boundaries.” The resolution became the foundation for future
No other nation in the world, acting rationally, has relinquished territories
acquired from an aggressor in an act of self-defense.
In the Six-Day War in 1967, Israel fought off the armies of Egypt, Jordan, and Syria,
gaining nearly 68,176 sq. km. of land. Since that time, in expectation for genuine peace,
Israel relinquished a total of 61,360 sq. km. that represents 90% of the land gained in a
defensive war imposed on Israel by its Arab neighbors’ aggression.
The UN adopted Resolution 242 five months after the Six-Day War ended. It took that
long because each word in the resolution was deliberately chosen, and certain words
were deliberately omitted, according to negotiators who drafted the resolution.
The wording of UN Resolutions 242 and 338 clearly reflects the contention that none of
the Territories were occupied territories taken by force in an unjust war.
Judge Stephen M. Schwebel, the former President of the International Court of Justice
(ICJ) in the Hague, stated after the Six-Day War ended:
“As between Israel, acting defensively in 1948 and 1967, on the one hand, and her
Arab neighbors, acting aggressively, in 1948 and 1967, on the other, Israel has the
better title in the territory of what was Palestine, including the whole of
Jerusalem, than do Jordan and Egypt.”
Professor Eugene Rostow, then U.S. undersecretary of state for political affairs and the
former dean of the Yale Law School, went on record in 1991 to make this clear:
“Resolution 242, which as undersecretary of state for political affairs between
1966 and 1969 I helped produce, calls on the parties to make peace and allows
Israel to administer the territories it occupied in 1967 until a just and lasting
peace in the Middle East is achieved. When such a peace is made, Israel is
required to withdraw its armed forces from territories it occupied during the Six-
Day War - not from the territories nor from all the territories, but from some of
the territories, which included the Sinai Desert, the West Bank, the Golan
Heights, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.
“Five-and-a-half months of vehement public diplomacy in 1967 made it perfectly
clear what the missing definite article in Resolution 242 means. Ingeniously
drafted resolutions calling for withdrawals from ‘all’ the territories were defeated
in the Security Council and the General Assembly. Speaker after speaker made it
explicit that Israel was not to be forced back to the ‘fragile’ and ‘vulnerable’
Armistice Demarcation Lines, but should retire once peace was made to what
Resolution 242 called ‘secure and recognized’ boundaries …”
It is Peace for Land – Not the Other Way Around
Friday, 9 September 2011
The Palestinians, with the vast wealth of the Arab nations, have gotten little other than UN handouts and three generations have been humiliated into wasted, angry lives. But Israel has utterly failed to make evident to the whole world the difference in the way the two sets of refugees' needs have been met. I have read only passing references to the matter of the Mizrahim through the years. Every day we don't make the message clear, we contribute to the deaths of innocent Israelis and waste billions on safeguards that would not be otherwise necessary.
Truly, passionate Zionist though I may be, I charge Israel with gross negligence in not insisting on this message reaching all ears. I have spoken of it on the radio several times and to persons both Jewish and non-Jewish. They just don't seem to grasp the simple complexities of the issue. Just this one issue might change the course of history. If you begin negotiations with the PA with an insistence that this matter be resolved first with Mizrahi losses in land and assets tabled along with PA claims, the latter would prove negligible. The world understands numbers easier than ideologies. It is calculated that Mizrahi losses in land alone would total an area seven times the landmass of Israel today!
Religions in Israel excludes "seam region"
Religions in Israel excludes "seam region"
|Jews||75.5%||exceeded 87% 1950-60|
|Druze||1.7%||Serve in Israeli Army (IDF)|
|Others||3.9%|| Mostly those not affiliated|
with any religion
| Source: Statistical Abstract of Israel, 2009, CBS.|
"Table 2.2 - Population, by religion"
Counting the Forgotten Refugees:
The populations of Jews in M.E.
circa 1948 and 2004
|Country in the|
| Number of Jews|
| Number of Jews|
|Algeria||140,000||Less than 100|
|Egypt||75,000||Less than 100|
|Lebanon||20,000||Less than 100|
|Syria||30,000||Less than 100|
|TOTAL||978,000||Less than 18,635|
Many of the 975,000 Jews expelled from Middle Eastern and North African countries who came to Israel were placed in tent cities called maabarot. Some families lived as long as twenty years in maabarot before moving to regular housing.
This morning The Times published an article by the Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks for the 10th anniversary of 9/11 which we hope you will be interested to read.
The 9/11 attacks are linked to a wider moral malaise, including the loss of authority, integrity and family unity.
Two things have haunted me since 9/11. The first is the pain, the grief, the lives lost and families devastated, the sheer barbaric ingenuity of evil. The scar in our humanity is still unhealed. The second is our failure to understand what Osama bin Laden was saying about the West. We did not hear the message then. I’m not sure we hear it now.
After the shock and grief subsided, two theories began to be heard. The first was that this was an event of epoch-changing magnitude. The terms of international politics had been transformed. The Cold War was over. Another war had begun. This time the enemy was not the Soviet Union and communism. It was radical, political Islam.
The second was the opposite. 9/11 was terrifying and terrible but it changed nothing because acts of terror never do. Terrorist campaigns have been aimed at other countries. Britain suffered similarly from the IRA in the 1970s. The most important thing is not to overreact. Terror may bring dividends in local conflicts but it never succeeds in its larger political aims.
There is something to be said for both theories. But there is a third, no less consequential. Why did al-Qaeda attack America? Because it believed that it could. Because it thought the US was a power past its prime, no longer as lean and hungry as it believed it was.
Robert McNamara said that the first rule in politics is to understand your enemy’s psychology. As I struggled to understand 9/11 I began to suspect that the answer lay in the events of 1989. That is when the narratives of the West and the rest began seriously to diverge.
In the West, 1989 was seen as the collapse of communism, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the implosion of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War. The Western narrative was triumphalist. It saw those events as heralding the victory of its values without a shot being fired.
The free market and liberal democratic politics had won for the simplest of reasons. They delivered, while communism did not. They would now spread across the world. It was, said Francis Fukuyama, the beginning of the end of history.
There was, though, another narrative that few were listening to. It said that the Soviet Union collapsed in 1989 not because of the triumph of liberal democracy but because of the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan earlier that year. It had invaded in 1979 and was forced to withdraw, not because of superpower politics but because of the determined resistance of a small group of highly motivated religious warriors, the Mujahidin and their helpers. That, historically, is the event that captured the imagination of Osama bin Laden.
According to this account, that one event, the humiliating retreat of the Soviet Army, set in motion a series of internal crises that resulted, months later, in the fall of a great power. If one of the world’s two superpowers was vulnerable to asymmetric warfare — the war of the few against the many — why not the other, America itself? What 1989 represented was not the end of history but the end of a history dominated by the twin superpowers of communist Russia and capitalist America.
Both were vulnerable because both were overripe and about to fall from the tree. Much excitement was felt in the West by the failure of communism. Less attention was paid to what Daniel Bell called the cultural contradictions of capitalism.
Throughout this period there were voices that few seemed to be listening to. First and greatest was the philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre in his 1981 masterwork, After Virtue. He argued that the moral discourse of the West had broken down.
The “Enlightenment project” of a purely rational ethic had failed — not because there was no such thing, but because there were too many. They clashed inconclusively and people were left with a sense that morality is whatever you think it is.
His minatory warning was: “The barbarians are not waiting beyond the frontiers; they have already been governing us for quite some time.” That was a scary thing to hear from one of the world’s great philosophers. I soon began to hear it from other leading intellectuals also, such as Philip Rieff, Christopher Lasch and Robert Bellah. That is what I heard in the echoes of 9/11: that all great civilisations eventually decline, and when they begin to do so they are vulnerable. That is what Osama bin Laden believed about the West and so did some of the West’s own greatest minds.
If so, then 9/11 belongs to a wider series of phenomena affecting the West: the disintegration of the family, the demise of authority, the build-up of personal debt, the collapse of financial institutions, the downgrading of the American economy, the continuing failure of some European economies, the loss of a sense of honour, loyalty and integrity that has brought once esteemed groups into disrepute, the waning throughout the West of a sense of national identity; even last month’s riots.
These are all signs of the arteriosclerosis of a culture, a civilisation grown old. Whenever Me takes precedence over We, and pleasure today over viability tomorrow, a society is in trouble. If so, then the enemy is not radical Islam, it is us and our by now unsustainable self-indulgence.
The West has expended much energy and courage fighting wars in Afghanistan and Iraq abroad and defeating terror at home. It has spent far less, if any, in renewing its own morality and the institutions — families, communities, ethical codes, standards in public life — where it is created and sustained. But if I am right, this is the West’s greatest weakness in the eyes of its enemies as well as its friends.
The only way to save the world is to begin with ourselves. Our burden after 9/11 is to renew the moral disciplines of freedom. Some say it can’t be done. They are wrong: it can and must. Surely we owe the dead no less.