Why are we even talking about the ’67 lines. They have no legitimacy whatsoever. Either its the Partition lines which are antiquated or its wherever we agree. R242 said we are entitled to retain some territory when setting secure borders. The Palestinians have no legitimate claim to Judea and Samaria whereas the Jews do by virtue of the Palestine Mandate. Why is Netanyahu not making this abundantly clear? We must keep the highlands overlooking the coastal plain. Ted Belman
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) has been doing his utmost over the last several months to persuade U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on the merits of his demand that Israel accept the 1967 lines as the basis for a future border before any negotiations can be resumed. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has responded firmly that he refuses to accept any preconditions for sitting at the table with Palestinian negotiators.
But Netanyahu’s objection to this Palestinian pre-condition was not only procedural. Speaking before the U.S. Congress on May 24, 2011, Netanyahu stated that while the precise delineation of Israeli-Palestinian borders must be negotiated, he added: “Israel will not return to the indefensible lines of 1967.” Since that time there has been a struggle underway in which both the Israelis and the Palestinians are presenting their diplomatic narratives to Western diplomats, who have been predisposed to accepting the Palestinian narrative on territory and the Israeli narrative on security. This struggle has direct implications for the future of the Jordan Valley.
In his 2011 address to Congress, Netanyahu was reflecting what has been the legacy of the founding fathers of Israel’s national security. In July 1967, just one month after the Six Day War, Deputy Prime Minister Yigal Allon, the former commander of the Palmach in 1948, submitted to the cabinet his famous proposal for Israel retaining territories of strategic importance for its defense, thereby giving Israel what Allon called “defensible borders” that would replace the vulnerable 1967 lines. Legally, Allon based himself on U.N. Security Council Resolution 242, which according to its drafters, envisioned the creation of a new secure border that would replace the old armistice lines, from which Israel was forced to defend itself at the start of the Six Day War.
The Allon Plan, which was largely based on Israel retaining the Jordan Valley, remained a critical component of Israeli military thinking years later, even after conditions in the Middle East changed. Thus on October 5, 1995, almost two years after Israel signed the Oslo Agreements, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin declared before the Knesset that “The borders of the State of Israel, during the permanent solution, will be beyond the lines which existed before the Six Day War. We will not return to the 4 June 1967 lines.” In the spirit of Allon, who had been his mentor when they served together in the Palmah, Rabin added: “The security border of the State of Israel will be …read more