– Zalman Shoval (Jerusalem Post)
Even a perfunctory examination of the “Arab Peace Initiative,” which the Arab League adopted on March 28, 2002, shows that it was no more than a list of take-it-or-leave-it demands requiring Israel to commit itself in advance to “full withdrawal from all territories occupied since 1967, including the Syrian Golan Heights”; east Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state; and the “right of return” of Arab refugees.
Future political historians will probably be frustrated when they attempt to unravel how the idea of “land swaps” between Israel and the Palestinians ever achieved traction. After all, this wasn’t what UN Security Council Resolution 242 had said about Israel’s future borders.
Resolution 242 never intended that Israel should return to the vulnerable pre-’67 cease-fire line. The UK’s Lord Caradon, the resolution’s co-author, said “it would have been wrong to demand that Israel return to its positions of 4 June 1967.”
On June 5, 1967, Jordanian artillery began to shell west Jerusalem and Jordanian soldiers occupied the UN observers headquarters. It was an unprovoked act of aggression against the State of Israel. Arthur Goldberg, the U.S. ambassador to the UN and the resolution’s other co-author, said: “It is clear that Israel exercised the right of self-defense in the 1967 war.”
One may, therefore, be justified in asking why Israel should now be required to compensate the aggressor with land?
The author is a former Israeli ambassador to the U.S.