Palestine – Mapping The Truth Erases A Long-running Fiction

January 12, 2015 by David Singer
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The US State Department Bureau of Consular Affairs has featured a map on its website – which both rejects and corrects the misleading use of the terms “1967 boundaries” and “1967 borders” – which have never existed in relation to any territorial subdivision between Israel, the West Bank and Gaza.

MapAs the accompanying map makes clear:

  1. There was a 1950 armistice line that separated Israel from the Gaza Strip
  2. There was a 1949 armistice line that separated Israel from the West Bank.

The use of dishonest and untruthful verbiage such as “boundaries” and “borders” has been a major factor in causing what now appears to have led to an irretrievable breakdown in negotiations between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) designed to create a second Arab State in former Palestine – in addition to Jordan.

Absent from this State Department map is there any mention of these aberrant terms.

Instead the map seeks to present an honest and accurate position of the current territorial relationship that exists between Israel, the West Bank (“Judea and Samaria”) and Gaza.

PLO propaganda – aided by sloppy media journalism – have been the drivers in introducing these false and misleading terms into the political diplomatic lexicon.

This campaign of deception and media indolence can at least be traced back to October 2007 – when USA Today under a headline – “Abbas wants return to pre 1967-borders”reported PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas telling Palestine TV:

“We have 6,205 square kilometers in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. We want it as it is.”

There were four “small” problems confronting Abbas – that he was not prepared to recognise and USA Today to question or challenge:

  1. There had never been any pre-1967 borders – only the 1949 and 1950 armistice lines.
  2. Those armistice lines had been agreed between Jordan, Israel and Egypt – long before the PLO came into existence in 1964.
  3. The PLO in 2007 at best still only “had” about 40% of the West Bank it had obtained under the 1993 Oslo Accords. Israel “had” the other 60% – also granted under the Oslo Accords.
  4. The Jews had a better legal claim to “have” at least that part of the West Bank they had lived in prior to 1949 – before being driven out by six invading armies – as well as those areas defined as State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes as stipulated by article 6 of the Mandate for Palestine and article 80 of the United Nations Charter.

Undeterred by these roadblocks – Abbas continued making these misleading demands – with Islam On Line reporting the following statement by Abbas on 9 December 2009 under the headline – “Abbas Names 1967 Borders as Precondition for Talks” –:

“We will renew negotiations if the settlements are completely halted and the 1967 borders recognized as the borders of the Palestinian state,”

The New York Times obligingly gave credence to Abbas’s claims on 19 May 2011 with a story under a banner headline “Obama sees ’67 borders as starting point for peace talks” followed by this misleading report accompanied by a supposedly accurate map showing the “Green Line Pre-1967 border”:

“A day before the arrival in Washington of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, Mr. Obama declared that the prevailing borders before the 1967 Arab-Israeli war — adjusted to some degree to account for Israeli settlements in the West Bank — should be the basis of a deal. While the 1967 borders have long been viewed as the foundation for a peace agreement, Mr. Obama’s formula of land swaps to compensate for disputed territory created a new benchmark for a diplomatic solution.”

Suitably emboldened with the New York Times unquestionably uttering the same nonsense as he was – Abbas sent a letter to the UN Secretary General dated 23 September 2011 applying for membership of the the UN.

Abbas – signing as “President of the State of Palestine [a non-existent legal entity –ed.], Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization”- brazenly repeated his earlier claims – this time seeking to implicate most of the international community in his fantasy.

“Furthermore, the vast majority of the international community has stood in support of our inalienable rights as a people, including to statehood, by according bilateral recognition to the State of Palestine on the basis of the 4 June 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital, and the number of such recognitions continues to rise with each passing day.”

Abbas was at it again in 2012 – as BBC News reported him saying:

“Palestine for me is the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as the capital. This is Palestine,”

With Abbas last week choosing the path of the United Nations and the International Criminal Court in preference to resuming negotiations with Israel – he surely has succumbed to his own propaganda and sown the seeds for his own fall from grace.

He has shown himself unwilling to be bound by the procedures laid out in the Oslo Accords, the Bush Roadmap and Security Council Resolution 242 – the internationally laid down parameters under which an end to the Jewish-Arab conflict was to be negotiated and resolved.

An opportunity could now be opening for negotiations between Israel, Egypt and Jordan – the parties to those 1949 and 1950 armistice lines – to try to transform them into lasting and permanent borders.

A little bit of intellectual honesty can go a long way.

David Singer is a Sydney Lawyer and Foundation Member of the International Analysts Network

Comments

27 Responses to “Palestine – Mapping The Truth Erases A Long-running Fiction”
  1. Gil Solomon says:

    David,

    Does it not say anything to you that your writings elicit such negative responses (see comments below) whereby you, as the author, have to respond time and time and time again to your critics be they on Jwire or other sites you post to?

    I suppose in your mind everyone is wrong in their assessment but you.

    In my mind, you are no different to Shimon Peres.
    He is obsessed about a “peace process” that all thinking people who are concerned with Israel’s future should realise is dead and buried.

    I think you still harbour your views of decades past re. the “Jordan is Palestine” movement which then and now while having no chance of getting off the ground, has coloured your political perspective to this day.

    Now you offer simplistic approaches about what can be achieved with Egypt and Jordan. This approach would be reasonable if these countries were normal countries that could be compared to say New Zealand sitting down with Australia for a reasonable compromise to an issue. The facts of life however is that they are not.

    Jwire should employ you as its resident historian, as you can quote who said what, to whom and when at the drop of a hat. But as far as analysing the political situation, forget it.

    You are too obsessed with a world view that exists in your mind only. The problem is that you, like Shimon Peres could influence others to your way of thinking, so that chaos, endless discussions and endless compromises will rule the day in perpetuity, all to Israel’s detriment.

    • david singer says:

      Gil

      Of course I harbour my views of decades past – from 1979 – to be exact – when I formed the Jordan is Palestine Committee which pointed out that Jordan comprised 76.9% of former Palestine, went international and held conferences in Jerusalem, London and New York to spread the message.

      I also suggested that direct negotiations between Jordan and Israel be commenced to negotiate the allocation of sovereignty in the West Bank – just 5% of the territory of the Mandate remaining unallocated between Jordan and Israel – the two successor States to the Mandate.

      Regrettably this did not happen and instead Israel got
      1. the 1982 Lebanon War,
      2. the South Lebanon conflict,
      3. the first Intifada and the second Intifada,
      4. the birth of Hamas,
      5. Oslo, the resurrection of the PLO and the Bush Roadmap – resulting in a phony peace process that had no legal, historic, demographic or geographic basis – and led to
      6. the 2006 Lebanon War,
      7. the 2008 Gaza War,
      8. the 2012 Operation Pillar of Defence and
      9. the 2014 Operation Protective Edge.

      After 20 years the Oslo and Roadmap negotiations have collapsed in a heap – as I have consistently argued must inevitably happen.

      Now is the opportunity to go back to the drawing board to try direct negotiations between Israel, Jordan and Egypt.

      I can only say that if this call had been taken up in 1980 – the number of dead, wounded and traumatised Jews and Arabs since then could well have been avoided.

      Thanks – but no thanks – for equating me with Peres – the force behind the Oslo Accords ever seeing the light of day and the chaos that process caused.

      He was a Jordan is Palestine man – who once said in 1991:
      ”It is not obstinacy to regard the populations of Jordan, the West Bank and Gaza as having greater similarities than differences. The Jordan River is not deep enough to turn into a knife blade serving to cut one piece of territory into three slices. Most of Jordan’s population are Palestinians: the residents of the West Bank are Jordanian citizens and Jordan has distributed tens of thousands of passports to residents in the Gaza Strip. Jordan is therefore an existing State. It has an army. There is therefore no need to set up another State, another army.”

      He changed his tune and forsook this principled stance – forcing Rabin to take the Oslo path to nowhere.

      Netanyahu regrettably did the same thing – abandoning his earlier position when he had unequivocally stated:
      “Clearly, in Eastern and Western Palestine, there are only two peoples, the Arabs and the Jews. Just as clearly, there are only two states in that area, Jordan and Israel. The Arab State of Jordan, containing some three million Arabs, does not allow a single Jew to live there. It also contains 4/5 of the territory originally allocated by this body’s predecessor, the League of Nations, for the Jewish National Home. The other State, Israel, has a population of over four million, of which one sixth is Arab. It contains less than 1/5 of the territory originally allocated to the Jews under the Mandate…. It cannot be said, therefore, that the Arabs of Palestine are lacking a state of their own. The demand for a second Palestinian Arab State in Western Palestine, and a 22nd Arab State in the world, is merely the latest attempt to push Israel back into the hopelessly vulnerable armistice lines of 1949.”

      The difference between Netanyahu and Peres is that Netanyahu now has an historic opportunity to rectify the Oslo and Bush Roadmap debacles by repeating the above speech he first made on 11 December 1984.

      King Abdullah of Jordan also had no compunction in saying as far back as 1948:
      “Palestine and Transjordan are one, for Palestine is the coastline and Transjordan the hinterland of the same country.”

      Yes as a resident historian – if J Wire could afford me – I could give you countless other Jordan is Palestine statements by both Jews and Arabs testifying to the above facts.

      So your gung ho approach of Israel stuffing everyone and telling them all to go to hell and risk tearing up the peace agreements with Jordan and Egypt needs to be considered against my approach that now seeks to engage Jordan, Egypt and Israel in direct negotiations based on undeniable facts agreed on between them – not PLO fictions that we have been subjected to for the last 20 years.

      I far prefer my obsession to your obsession and am flattered by your suggestion that I could influence others to my way of thinking. Hopefully you will fail in attracting others to your views – which present a real threat to Israel’s very existence.

      In the end Jews and Arabs need to continue talking – if war is to be avoided. Yes – war has not been avoided by talking as I point out above – but like marriage it depends on who you choose as your partner.

      The PLO and Israel were never destined to celebrate their silver anniversary. Israel needs to sever the partnership and start wooing Jordan and Egypt. If they are not receptive to Israel’s advances then Israel will have to act as it sees best fit – hopefully not as disastrously as it did in Gaza having hopefully learned from its mistakes there.

      This approach of negotiating with Jordan is – and always has been – the bottom line for me since 1979.

      Apparently it is not for you. So be it.

    • Paul Winter says:

      Gil, you are a correct, but perhaps a bit harsh with David. You will note that he bristles at the inference that he is a trembling Jew and then, amazingly, confirms that he is one by asserting that anyone with a backbone does not care about Israeli Jews. Yes, history is fine, but without the ability to construct a logical framework in which to read its lesson, it is useless.

      You will note that David bravely sneers that it is easy to be gung ho in Australia, forgetting that there are plenty of Israelis who are gung ho as well, as the popular call for the invasion of Gaza during the last war indicates.

      David seems to think that going forward to the past will bring peace. Like other peace processors he prefers to deal with fantasy – his own brilliant plan – rather than with reality: the Egyptians don’t want to buy in, the Jordanians want out and the so-called Palestinians won’t give up their rorts and power bases.

      And sadly, Bibi is not gung ho, but gutless, dreaming of a protector and himself as a brilliant diplomat. He is the one who allowed himself to be humiliated by Obozo, who apologised to the Turks for Israel’s legal actions and who remained shtum when the Azeri route to attack Iran was publicised by the White House and when during the last war the US withheld smart bombs.

      Sadly as well, that David follows the path of those who have aged and think and act on the basis of their frailties. I am reminded in the large scale on the Budapest kehilla whose leading members quarrelled on how best to meet Eichmann’s request for a piano; when Eichmann received seven pianos he remarked that he only wanted to practise, not to open a music store. And on the small scale, I am reminded of my mother’s uncle who had a 16 year old son, who was small for his age. When the Arrow Cross called for 16 plus males to go with them he was too frightened and too compliant to hold onto his son and the boy went, eventually to be shot into the Danube. That uncle walked out of his home and was never seen again.

      Gung ho? Not concerned with other Jews (or any innocent human beings)? No, just realistic and still young enough (as a septuagenarian) to remember and to apply the lessons of history. A guy called Rosenthal who made aliya from the US recently wrote that his Ze’ev Jabotinski moment came when 11 year old Ayala Shapiro was nearly fire bombed to death. My Jabotinski moment arrived years ago. Jews who are incapable of having a Jabotinski moment have yet to emerge from the ghetto.

      • david singer says:

        Paul

        You state:
        “the Egyptians don’t want to buy in, the Jordanians want out”

        What information are you privy to that enables you to come to that conclusion?

        Have Egypt and Jordan been asked to join in direct negotiations with Israel – now that negotiations with the PLO are over?

        Have Jordan and Egypt refused to partake in such negotiations?

        If and when this stage is reached – then Israel will be justified in taking such unilateral action as it considers is in the national interest.

        The paucity of your arguments is not helped by your reference to Obama as “Obozo”.

        Your reference to Netanyahu as “gutless” is also made without any evidence to support your claim.

        I don’t agree with every decision Netanyahu has taken – but I would hate to have been in his place and have had to make the decision on whether to release 104 murderers as the price for getting Abbas to come back and talk to him.

        Glad that you had a Jabotinsky moment years ago. What Brownie points does that qualify one for?

        Shooting from the hip – as you and Gil continue to do without having thought of the consequences – can cause you both to end up being shot in the feet.

        • Paul Winter says:

          David, what information have you to confirm Egypt’s willingness to re-engage in Gaza? Egypt offered to resettle the “Palestinians” in Sinai.

          The brownie points of my Jabotinski moment are: testimony that I am engaging with reality rather than letting my delusions and ego guide my thinking and as proof that I am not emasculated.

          • david singer says:

            Paul

            Whether the report that Egypt offered to resettle Gazan Arabs in Sinai is true or not – it is surely evidence of what could be raised in direct negotiations between Israel, Egypt and Jordan as part of an overall agreement to turn the 1949 and 1950 armistice lines into permanent borders.

            This report – if true – certainly shoots down your unsubstantiated claim in flames that “Egypt does not want to buy in”

            Maybe Jordan in such negotiations could also offer some of its land to the West Bank Arabs in some form of confederation with Jordan in return for some of the land Jordan illegally occupied in the West Bank between 1948-1967.

            I am not trying to settle the agenda for any such negotiations or predict their outcome – only promoting the idea that these three States – all currently enjoying signed and sealed peace treaties – sit down and negotiate directly with each other under Security Council Resolution 242 to allocate sovereignty in an area of land the size of New Jersey.

            Certainly pursuing the convening of such negotiations following the collapse of Oslo and the Roadmap negotiations- beats your gung ho Israeli unilateral “stuff them all” approach hands down.

            I do not believe you are engaging with reality that sees the Arab world in chaos, Islamic State on the rise and the West facing economic disaster whilst many continue to stupidly align themselves with the PLO and Hamas.

            Your proposal that Israel go it alone without at least seriously trying to bring about these trilateral negotiations between Israel, Egypt and Jordan would have one consequence – the re-alliance and coming together of States who do not believe the Jews have an inalienable right to reconstitute their National Home in accordance with the rights legally vested in them by the Mandate and article 80 of the UN Charter.

            Good to know you are not emasculated – so beware it is not only your feet that could get shot up if you continue shooting from the hip as you seem hell bent on doing.

            • Paul Winter says:

              We are debating a hypothetical situation where land is allocated by agreements between colonial masters.You are incapable of conceiving that former illegal occupiers are unsuitable parties to negotiate the fate of their former subjects.

              A while ago you proposed the hare-brained scheme that you are defending against facts and reality, or rather objective reality based on facts and analysis that one can share and debate rationally. Your perfect solution is a fantasy supported by nothing; you are defending nothing but your idée fixée.

              UNSC242 called for negotiations between the parties and neither Egypt nor Jordan is one of those.

              Israel must go it alone, because it has no partner. Proposing the two you are fixated on would neither be acceptable to the others in the umma nor would they have any legal standing.

              No-one is shooting from the hip, but if someone is determined to fight you, shooting from the lip is mere dribble. More lives are lost through dragged out low intensity conflict than a decisive battle to defeat an enemy. Too many frail old men have forgotten that after 1973 neither Egypt nor Syria engaged in major battler against Israel.

              • Gil Solomon says:

                Paul,

                The more David Singer tries to respond to you the more absurd are his arguments.

                Disclosing historical documentation ad nauseam is one thing but his political analysis is pure fantasyland stuff and how this nonsense gets accepted for publication by the Jwire editor and other Op-Ed editors on other sites has got me beat.

                His arguments muddy the already muddied waters even further.

                Pure fiction masquerading as political insight has no place on a serious site concerned with Israel’s survival.

                • david singer says:

                  Gil

                  I know for sure you have nothing serious to contribute when you start proposing that the J Wire editor and other Op Ed editors on other sites refuse to publish my articles.

                  This gung-ho suggestion by you will undoubtedly be consigned to those editors’ rubbish bins.

                  A similar suggestion has been made on many occasions on other sites by rabid Jew-haters and forcefully rejected.

                  I expected something better from you.

                  We may have differences of opinion – but obliterating one side of the argument from public discussion is certainly not the way to go.

                  Think again – and perhaps be man enough to issue an apology for such crass remarks.

                  • Gil Solomon says:

                    David,

                    I do admit that my remarks were somewhat crass. They were said in a rhetorical manner and no way do I really expect an editor to not publish the comments from another Jew concerned with Israel’s survival.

                    So on my part, apology is freely given.

              • david singer says:

                Paul

                You continue to shoot the messenger and ignore the message.

                You even mis-state the facts when you claim:
                “UNSC242 called for negotiations between the parties and neither Egypt nor Jordan is one of those.”

                It is painful to have to again repeat what Resolution 242 says – and which you continue to ignore:

                “Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and 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;”

                Are you seriously claiming that Egypt and Jordan are exempt from the obligations contained under this provision?

                What do you interpret as the meaning of “every State in the area”?

                Your further claim that Syria and Egypt have not engaged in a further battle against Israel is right – but you fail to attribute the correct reasons – the Separation of Forces Agreement signed on 31 May 1974 between Israel and Syria and the Egyptian-Israeli Disengagement Treaty signed on 18 January 1974 which eventually led to the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty in 1979.

                There comes a realisation at some time that fighting each other is a pointless exercise and that shooting from the lip must take precedence over shooting from the hip.

                Shooting from the hip by suggesting Israeli unilateral action now in the void created by the collapse of the Oslo Accords and the Bush Roadmap is a certain pointer to further conflict.

                My proposal involves shooting from the lip and is aimed to avoid such conflict.

                At the very least it should be pursued until it is unequivocally rejected.

  2. Ann Sinclair says:

    “West Bank” is still 100% wrong. That was the name used by the illegal Jordanian occupation.

    • david singer says:

      Ann

      You have a point. Israel refers to the area as “Judea and Samaria” – the terms applied from biblical times to 1948 – and even used by the 1947 UN Partition Plan.

      The retention of the “West Bank” after Jordan’s re-naming of it in 1950 and after its subsequent loss to Israel in the 1967 Six Day War is testament to the superiority of Arab propaganda over Israeli usage.

  3. harry rich says:

    And the partner of Hamas marches in the front line of world leaders in Paris.

  4. Paul Winter says:

    Yes, David, a little bit of intellectual honesty can go a long way, especially from you. Egypt and Israel have a border and Jordan has given up all claims to Judea and Samaria, implying that its border is the Jordan River. Neither Egypt nor Jordan are legal parties to any future negotiations between Israel and the Arab residents of Judea, Gaza and Samaria. The borders granted to Hamastan can be removed if Israel chooses to invade and put the Hamas terror regime out of business.

    Israel must not -repeat MUST NOT – negotiate. It gained control of areas illegally occupied by Egypt and Trans-Jordan in a defensive war and therefore is entitled to retain the land like any other victor nation that had been attacked. Israel must state what its borders will be and the Arabs must accept it or leave for other parts of their blood drenched caliphate. Israel must act like any other victorious nation that was harmed and dictate its terms for peace instead of begging aggressive Jew-haters to be just left in peace.

    • david singer says:

      Paul

      The border between Egypt and Israel determined in 1979 has nothing to do with the armistice line between Gaza and Israel that was agreed on between Israel and Egypt in 1949.

      The Armistice Agreement contains the following provisions:
      Article V(2) – “The Armistice Demarcation Line is not to be construed in any sense as a political or territorial boundary, and is delineated without prejudice to rights, claims and positions of either Party to the Armistice as regards ultimate settlement of the Palestine question.”

      Article V(3) -” The basic purpose of the Armistice Demarcation Line is to delineate the line beyond which the armed forces of the respective Parties shall not move except as provided in Article III of this Agreement.”

      Jordan may well have ceded all its claims to Judea and Samaria in 1988 – but nevertheless the 1994 peace agreement border between Jordan and Israel stipulates the following:
      “The boundary, as set out in Annex I (a), is the permanent, secure and recognized international boundary between Jordan and Israel, without prejudice to the status of any territories that came under Israeli military government control in 1967.”

      There is therefore ample provision in both documents for Jordan and Egypt to negotiate with Israel on turning the armistice lines into permanent boundaries.

      The PLO were afforded that privilege under the Oslo Accords and the Bush Roadmap and blew the opportunity big time over the last 20 years.

      It is now time for Israel, Egypt and Jordan to fill the void left by the PLO abandoning negotiations and now sit down together to try to find an agreed territorial outcome between them to ending the Jewish-Arab conflict.

      • Gil Solomon says:

        David,

        You say: “It is now time for Israel, Egypt and Jordan to fill the void left by the PLO abandoning negotiations and now sit down together to try to find an agreed territorial outcome between them to ending the Jewish-Arab conflict.”

        What is it that makes you refuse to understand the facts of life in the Middle East? The Arab countries never want this conflict to end. It suits their purposes to have the “Israeli Arab conflict” go on and on and on, with Israel being cast as the perennial whipping boy of the international community, a role Israel has got itself into by one insane decision after the other, be it releasing terrorists with blood on their hands or not prosecuting a war with the intent that the enemy unconditionally surrenders. Yes, there is a military solution but Israel, with the leadership it currently has, refuses to take the gloves off.

        It is for this reason I say that for Israel to extricate itself from the pit it has dug itself into requires a leader with a spine, who can explain the facts of life to a hostile world, who will advise this same world that the days of concessions and capitulations are over, that the days of indulging the Palestinian Authority are over and act like a sovereign power in control of its own destiny. In short put the nation on a 180 degree turnaround with the clear warning that in any future conflict, human shields will be treated as enemy combatants with no further targets to be aborted. This is the only language the Arab world understands.

        Will this happen, probably not with the current leadership.

        However going down the never ending road that you continually write about, requiring collaboration with Israel, Egypt and Jordan will ensure that chaos will continue well into the future.

        You offer no solution just endless legalistic and theoretical discussions. This is precisely why Israel is in the mess that it finds itself today. The IAF even has lawyers on monitors watching in real time advising IAF pilots whether to proceed to target or abort. What sheer utter insanity.

        • david singer says:

          Gil

          The facts of life in the Middle East are not as you state.

          You ignore the facts that:
          1.Israel and Egypt and
          2.Israel and Jordan
          negotiated and signed peace agreements in 1979 and 1994 respectively and 3.that these agreements have held despite some difficult times when they could have been easily broken.

          Who could ever have believed or hoped to see the day when these three enemies would be at peace with each other and that their peace agreements would hold and endure?

          It happened – and it can happen again in regard to two little pieces of land the size of New Jersey that at present is not under the sovereignty of any State.

          If America and the European Union started pressuring Israel,Jordan and Egypt to negotiate – employing a fraction of the time and money they have invested over the last 20 years in wooing the PLO and Hamas for no return – you might find Israel, Egypt and Jordan being ready to at least start talking to try and resolve sovereignty in the West Bank and Gaza.

          America and the European Union need to ditch the PLO and concentrate on getting Israel, Jordan and Egypt to sit around a negotiating table – and sooner rather than later.

          The Arab League needs to get out of the hole it has dug for itself and its member States and start encouraging such negotiations as well.

          The gung-ho approach adopted by you and Paul Winter is simply not in Israel’s national interest in my opinion – whilst this option is still unexplored and unattempted.

          • Gil Solomon says:

            David,

            You talk about an “enduring” peace between Egypt/Jordan and Israel. Give me a break.

            There has been no outward warmth in this relationship during the decades that these scraps of paper were signed. The assassination of Anwar Sadat saw to that.

            The peace you describe at best can be described as a cessation of hostilities. Meanwhile the hatred of Israel and Jews continues unabated in the press of both Egypt and Jordan with the blessing of both Governments.

            For God’s sake, take the blinkers off.

            • david singer says:

              Gil

              A peace that has seen no deaths or injuries inflicted on Israelis by Egyptians or vice versa for 35 years or similarly in the case of Jordan for 20 years are very good outcomes – far outweighing your “no outward warmth” cri de coeur.

              These peace treaties certainly do not deserve to be described by you as “worthless pieces of paper”. Their terms have been adhered to by the three countries through thick and thin.

              Compare their conduct and behaviour to that of the PLO displayed to the Oslo Accords and the Bush Roadmap.

              The fact that these three countries have managed to establish and maintain diplomatic relations even though ambassadors have been withdrawn from time to time as a result of disputes between them is apparently of no value to you either.

              Re Egypt: Between 2008 and 2011 bilateral trade grew nearly 53%, from $271 million to $415 million and Israeli exports to Egypt grew nearly 70% while imports from Egypt grew 34%. – See more at: http://itrade.gov.il/us-dc/2013/04/30/israel-egypt-bilateral-trade-grows-53-between-2008-and-2011/#sthash.dgf5RYFm.dpuf

              Re Jordan: An agreement was signed in December 2013 stipulating that Israel would provide Jordan’s capital with 8-13 billion gallons per year of fresh water from the Sea of Galilee, while Jordan would deliver the same amount of desalinated water pumped from Aqaba to Israel’s Negev desert region.

              Do these developments equate to a mere “cessation of hostilities”?

              Encouraging Israel, Egypt and Jordan to sit at the negotiating table to turn the armistice lines between them into permanent boundaries remains the best option that can be pursued at this moment.

              Sorry Gil – it is you who is wearing the blinkers by threatening Israel take unilateral actions that could well see these two peace treaties torn up.

              Is that what you and Paul Winter want to really see happen?

              • Paul Winter says:

                Sorry, David, but neither Gil nor I are blinkered. Further, neither of us is a trembling Jew.

                The peace treaty would not blow up between Israel and Jordan if Israel took unilateral action in response to talks that the PA has killed off. And if the treaties fail, well, so what? No nation can be hostage to another nation’s desire to be seen as some concocted entity’s protector or as a fighter for Islam’s superiority over Jews.

                The trade is not endangered either. The so-called Palestinians are hated by the Egyptians and while they are a noisy rabble in Jordan, the Hashemites know how to deal with their beloved brothers. No nation will jeopardise business for the trouble making Pallies.

                No nation can live on its knees and survive, especially in the ME. Israel must act in its own interests and the world must get used to it, just like it did after the bombing of the Osirak reactor and like it will after the Iranian plants are bombed.

                • david singer says:

                  Paul

                  Great to see you come out as identifying yourself and Gil as not being a trembling Jews.

                  Are you inferring that I am?

                  Are you inferring that Netanyahu and the entire Government of Israel are?

                  Your expressed views are made without any real consideration for the lives of 6.25 million Jews living in Israel.

                  Your assertions are made without any substance or basis.

                  In my view every avenue possible should be taken to ensure the continuation of the peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan – which you appear so ready to cast to the wind.

                  Talk is easy – playing the macho man is easier – especially when you are living in Australia.

      • Paul Winter says:

        Thanks, David, for the legal position regarding the 1994 Israel/Jordanian peace agreement.

        But you omit two points. (1) Ceding Judea and Samaria established the border between Israel and Jordan as the Jordan River and the statement that the status of the ceded territories is undecided neither makes peace treaty contingent on Israeli actions nor authorise Jordan to in any way influence how the territories in question are decided. (2) The provisions of the Israel/Jordan peace treaty have absolutely no bearing on the Gaza situation and any Egyptian involvement.

        The 1994 agreement between Israel and Jordan was obviously made with regard to the Oslo process. As the PA has violated every term of that accord, Israel is free to take unilateral actions as well.

        The most important point is that Jordan was an illegal occupier of Judea and Samaria (as was Egypt of Gaza) and the nominated successor through its actions has proved to be lawless and hence illegitimate but despite that it is the only internationally recognised party to peace talks with Israel. There is therefore no more role for Jordan and Egypt in the final status of territories from which they were expelled in 1967, than there is for the OIC.

        • david singer says:

          Paul

          You are correct in stating that the PLO has been the only internationally recognised party to peace talks with Israel … until now.

          However the PLO has – in my opinion – irrevocably committed political suicide by ending any such peace talks as a result of its approaches to the UN Security Council and International Criminal Court.

          The PLO is just the latest in a long line of failed Palestinian Arab leaderships going back to 1923, 1937, 1947, and between 1948-1967 – that has failed to grasp many opportunities to end the Jewish-Arab conflict.

          Now a void has been created that requires to be filled by another Arab interlocutor.

          That interlocutor must be Egypt and Jordan – the last two Arab occupiers of Gaza and Jordan between 1948-1967.

          Yes – both were illegal occupiers – but who else is there to negotiate the allocation of sovereignty in the last two remaining areas of the British Mandate – just 5% of the territory originally included in Mandatory Palestine?

          For Israel to take unilateral action as you are suggesting before Israel/Jordan/Egypt negotiations are at least proposed and rejected is foolhardy and politically reckless in the extreme.

          Resolution 242 prescribed what was to happen:

          “Termination of all claims or states of belligerency 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;”

          Negotiations between Egypt, Jordan and Israel are certainly justified under 242 – which is now the only internationally recognised game in town following the PLO’s breach of the Oslo Accords and the Bush Roadmap.

          The sooner these three States start negotiating – the better.

          If they don’t then unilateral action by Israel cannot be ruled out. Doing so at this stage – before such talks are even broached – would be politically inept.

  5. Liat Nagar says:

    It’s amazing how sloppy discussion of borders is, and how authoritative people are as they bandy about terms such as ‘pre-1967 borders’. The end result is most people accepting something is correct that is not, and even the perpetrators of the propaganda believing their own rhetoric, as you’ve just pointed out with Abbas! Thanks for this article, David.

  6. Leon Poddebsky says:

    And it is precisely because Israel has never to this day had an eastern border that it cannot, by definition, be “occupying” any other state’s land, nor “illegally” establishing “settlements” on that land.
    When Israeli forces repulsed Jordan’s aggression in 1967 they did not cross a border into a foreign country; they liberated part of the 1922 League of Nations-endorsed Mandated territory earmarked for the reconstitution of the Jewish National Home.
    And yet….foreign ministers, including a former Australian one, have the effrontery to pretend otherwise. Would they exercise such arrogance against non-Jews?

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