Saturday, June 06, 2009

Why is the Green Line so sacrosanct?

UN Resolutions 242 and 338 do not require Israel to withdraw to the pre-1967 border, but only from "territories" to "secure and recognized boundaries".

Lord Caradon, who drafted Resolution 242, rejected proposals to add the word "all" before the word "territories." He said: " … withdrawal should take place to secure and recognized boundaries … the 1967 border … is not a satisfactory border, it is where troops had to stop in 1947 …that is not a permanent boundary... "

Mr. Michael Stewart, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, and Mr. George Brown, British Foreign Secretary, confirmed: “… the omission of the word 'all' before the word 'territories' is deliberate…” and “… The proposal …means that Israel will not withdraw from all the territories."

Mr. Arthur Goldberg, US representative to the UN: "… there have never been secure or recognized boundaries... Neither the armistice lines of 1949 nor the cease-fire lines of 1967 have answered that description... such boundaries have yet to be agreed upon.... "

President Lyndon Johnson: "… It is clear … that a return to the situation of 4 June 1967 will not bring peace. There must be secure and there must be recognized borders … agreed to by the neighbours involved."

Mr. Joseph Sisco, Assistant Secretary of State: "That Resolution did not say 'withdrawal to the pre-June 5 lines'. … the question of the final borders is a matter of negotiations between the parties."

Eugene V. Rostow, Professor of Law and Public Affairs, Yale University, and US Under-Secretary of State for Political Affairs: "The agreement … should establish 'secure and recognized boundaries’ … to replace the Armistice Demarcation lines established in 1949, and the cease-fire lines of June 1967... It is … not legally possible to assert that the provision requires Israeli withdrawal from all the territories now occupied …."
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