Wednesday, December 22, 2010

No "1967 Borders" Ever Existed

From JCPA, Briefs Vol. 10, No. 17 21 December 2010, by Alan Baker, former Legal Adviser to Israel's Foreign Ministry and former Ambassador of Israel to Canada: The Palestinian leadership is fixated on attempting to press foreign governments and the UN to recognize a unilaterally declared Palestinian state within the "1967 borders." Indeed, this campaign appeared to have some initial successes in December 2010 when both Argentina and Brazil decided to recognize a Palestinian state within what they described as the "1967 borders." 

  • But such borders do not exist and have no basis in history, law, or fact. The only line that ever existed was the 1949 armistice demarcation line, based on the ceasefire lines of the Israeli and Arab armies pending agreement on permanent peace. The 1949 armistice agreements specifically stated that such lines have no political or legal significance and do not prejudice future negotiations on boundaries.
  • UN Security Council Resolution 242 of 1967 acknowledged the need for negotiation of secure and recognized boundaries. Prominent jurists and UN delegates, including from Brazil and Jordan, acknowledged that the previous lines cannot be considered as international boundaries. 
  • The series of agreements between the PLO and Israel (1993-1999) reaffirm the intention and commitment of the parties to negotiate permanent borders. During all phases of negotiation between Israel and the Palestinians, there was never any determination as to a border based on the 1967 lines. 
  • The PLO leadership solemnly undertook that all issues of permanent status would be resolved only through negotiations between the parties. The 2003 "Road Map" further reiterated the need for negotiations on final borders. 
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