Wiping Palestine Off the Map: The New York Times’ Racist Editorial Policy

by Jul 27, 2012Foreign Policy46 comments

Palestinian refugees ethnically cleansed from their homes by Zionist forces, October 1948

The New York Times editors ought to be ashamed for having allowed their newspaper to become a mouthpiece for such arrogant, hypocritical, lying, racist garbage.
Palestinian refugees ethnically cleansed from their homes by Zionist forces, October 1948

Palestinian refugees ethnically cleansed from their homes by Zionist forces, October 1948

FPJ — In an illustration of the editors’ own extreme prejudice, the New York Times on Wednesday published on op-ed titled “Israel’s Settlers Are Here to Stay” by Dani Dayan, whom the editors describe as “the chairman of the Yesha Council of Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria”, which are, of course, the labels Israelis use to describe what is under international law the “occupied Palestinian territory” (International Court of Justice) of the West Bank (including East Jerusalem), implying that it is Israeli land.

It is one thing for a newspaper to publish an op-ed in which a writer expresses his own personal opinion on a topic. It is quite another for the editors to exercise such extreme prejudice by allowing their publication to be used as a mouthpiece for a person who spews lies and hatred. People are entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts. Dayan simply makes up his own history to justify Israel’s policy, and the Times editors have no problem at all publishing his fictions. Dayan begins:

WHATEVER word you use to describe Israel’s 1967 acquisition of Judea and Samaria — commonly referred to as the West Bank in these pages — will not change the historical facts.

Dayan’s point is perfectly valid; after all, using the word “acquisition” and the terms “Judea and Samaria” will not change the fact that the West Bank is “occupied Palestinian territory” under international law. The “facts” Dayan then lays out as follows:

Arabs called for Israel’s annihilation in 1967, and Israel legitimately seized the disputed territories of Judea and Samaria in self-defense. Israel’s moral claim to these territories, and the right of Israelis to call them home today, is therefore unassailable.

It is certainly beyond dispute that Egypt’s President Nasser, Jordan’s King Hussein, and others engaged in much bellicose rhetoric prior to the June 1967 war. It is also beyond dispute that that war began on the morning of June 5, when Israel launched a surprise attack against Egypt (then known as the United Arab Republic).

It also happens to be an admitted fact that the threat of an Egyptian attack on Israel was virtually nonexistent. Israel’s current ambassador to the U.S., for example, Michael B. Oren, documented in his book Six Days of War that there was no imminent threat of an Egyptian first-strike on Israel, much less a genocidal threat to Israel’s very existence. “By all reports Israel received from the Americans, and according to its own intelligence,” Oren admitted, “Nasser had no interest in bloodshed”. To launch an attack on Israel, “Nasser would have to be deranged”, and the conditions under which a Nasser judged to be sane might do so were “most unlikely” to occur.

The Israeli assessment was shared by the U.S. intelligence community, which judged that Egyptian forces were in defensive positions in the Sinai and that if war was going to break out, it would be started by Israel.

As Prime Minister Menachem Begin, who had been a member of the Israeli cabinet during the war, admitted in 1982, after recalling that Israel had launched a war of aggression against Egypt in 1956, “In June 1967 we again had a choice. The Egyptian army concentrations in the Sinai approaches do not prove that Nasser was really about to attack us. We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him.”

And both Dayan’s and the Times editors’ understanding of international law is sorely lacking. The argument that if a war is fought in “self-defense” that a country may therefore acquire territory from its enemies has no basis in international law, in no small part due to the simple reason that every aggressor nation claims its wars are launched in “self-defense”, Israel’s ’67 war being no exception.

In November ’67, the U.N. Security Council adopted Resolution 242, which emphasized “the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war”—“by war”, period—and called for “Withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict”. It is a standard Zionist lie that the absence of the definite article “the” before “territories occupied” means that we may interpret this to mean “from some of the territories occupied”, patently idiotic and self-defeating logic. U.N. Security Council resolutions are not open to private, unilateral interpretation, and the Council members were clear in their deliberations over the resolution that this meant Israel must withdraw to the pre-June 5 ’67 lines, a.k.a. the 1949 armistice lines, a.k.a. “the Green Line”.

The fact that the Times editors would publish any article containing a statement that “the right of Israelis” to build settlements in the West Bank is “unassailable” is very instructive about their lack of concern for informing readers of actual facts, as opposed to ridiculous lies. The fact that it is completely uncontroversial that every inch of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is under international law “occupied Palestinian territory” is apparently not relevant to the Times. There is not a nation on planet Earth that rejects the international consensus that Israel’s settlements are illegal, a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, apart from Israel itself.

From the above fictional foundation, Dayan concludes:

Giving up this land in the name of a hallowed two-state solution would mean rewarding those who’ve historically sought to destroy Israel, a manifestly immoral outcome.

The truth is that permitting Israel to steal even more land with impunity means rewarding and aggressor nation that has historically sought to destroy Palestine and has occupied and illegally colonized Palestinian territory, oppressing the Palestinians who call that land home, for more than four decades—a manifestly immoral outcome.

Dayan with much chutzpah defies international law and the world community by declaring, “we aim to expand the existing Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria”, which is a simple question of “inalienable rights and realpolitik”, since “uprooting them would be exponentially more difficult than the evacuation of the Gaza Strip’s 8,000 settlers in 2005.” The Israeli “presence in all of Judea and Samaria”—that is, its occupation of the West Bank—is “an irreversible fact” and “[t]rying to stop settlement expansion is futile” and “only makes the negotiations more likely to fail.”

Never mind that negotiations under the U.S.-led so-called “peace process” have failed already, precisely because Israel has been unwilling to demonstrate a modicum of good faith by ceasing its illegal settlement activities, which prejudice the rights of the Palestinians and the outcome of any negotiated final peace agreement.

Dayan’s hypocrisy is on full display when the states that “the fact that the great-grandchildren of the original Palestinian refugees still live in squalid camps after 64 years is a disgrace that should be corrected by improving their living conditions”—a criticism of the neighboring Arab countries who have taken on the burden of Palestinian refugees, a problem created when Israel ethnically cleansed three-quarters of a million Arab Palestinians from Palestine beginning in December 1947 and continuing until the final armistice agreements were concluded in 1949. Further expulsions accompanied the ’67 war and occupation, and despite the Palestinians’ internationally recognized right of return, Israel has for 64 years refused to allow Palestinians to return to their homes.

Dayan concludes, “The settlements of Judea and Samaria are not the problem—they are part of the solution.” Israel’s own Final Solution, which began with the ethnic cleansing of Palestine to make way for the creation of the “Jewish state” and continues with the theft of Palestinian land and demolitions of Palestinian homes to make way for Israeli Jews.

The New York Times editors ought to be ashamed for having allowed their newspaper to become a mouthpiece for such arrogant, hypocritical, lying, racist garbage.

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About Jeremy R. Hammond

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46 Comments

  1. Jack

    Hammond is a tremendous hypocrite in calling others liars and full of hatred. I’m sure this is a waste of time, because no one can seriously credit as an academic or serious journalist a person, like Hammond, who writes obviously inflammatory taglines to his photos… that said, I’ll take a quick stab in the unlikely event there is an actual independent person who peruses the site and comments. I just happened to have read the 6-day war, by Oren, that Hammond quotes. He quotes statements, allegedly by Oren, indicative that Nasser obviously had no interest in war, or would have to be deranged to go to war. However, those comments were made prior to Nasser not only closing the straights, but moving the army over to the eastern sinai, and sending recon flights over Dimona. By that time, the U.S., Israel and Russia were not sure WHAT Nasser would do. And, in fact, General Amer cancelled an Egytpian pre-emptive attack 15 minutes before launch. This is just one example of the deception in which Hammond wallows. He misrepresents an entire book by taking a quote out of context, and uses that to try to establish another condemnation of Israel. Hammond’s dishonesty, in numerous regards, always inures against Israel. This is the simple proof of his own hatred.

    Reply
    • Jeremy R. Hammond

      Since you call me a hypocrite for pointing out the lies and hatred of others, I challenge you to point to any error in fact or logic or any statement of prejudice or hatred that I wrote.

      Observe how it’s done, you liar, you hypocrite!

      You write that the quotes above are “allegedly by Oren”? Why do you imply I made them up at worst or misquoted at best when you can confirm that I quoted Oren accurately? That is willfully dishonest. Pages 59-60. Anyone can verify what I wrote as accurate.

      You write that Oren was referring to assessments from before the closing of the straits and placement of troops in the Sinai. Liar! Oren discusses the troop movement into Sinai on page 57. At the top of page 59, Oren writes that Nasser, by not having “conducted as quietly as possible, at night” the troop movement, was sending the message to Israel that “Egypt had no aggressive designs, but neither would it suffer any Israeli aggression against Syria.” Then Oren turns to the Israeli point of view in the middle paragraph on page 59. He quotes the Soviet ambassador speaking to the director-general of Israel’s Foreign Ministry. What is the timeline of that quote? Footnote 64. May 13, 1967, just three weeks before Israel started the war. The next paragraph discusses the Israeli and American intelligence assessments and contain his statements as I quoted above. He makes it clear this remained the assessment in May from the context, quoting Israeli PM Eshkol speaking in mid-May in the paragraph that follows. Eshkol spoke of the threat from Egypt. But notice how Oren begins that paragraph. He had just relayed the assessment of Israeli intelligence that Nasser did not intend to attack. Then he begins that final paragraph: “And yet…” In others words, Eshkol characterized Egypt as a threat on the eve of the war even though Israel’s own intelligence had assessed otherwise.

      So there is the full context of what I quoted! You liar! You hypocrite! In your lies and hypocrisy lies the simple proof of your own hatred.

      Reply
  2. Yehudah ben-Hayim

    Mr Hammond – You quote correctly UNSC 242 (“Withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict”), but it is only a partial quote. The Security Council resolution calls for Israel’s withdrawal from territories AND it calls for the recognition of the right of all states in the region to live in peace in secure and recognized borders. Your quote, therefore, is misleading, because you wish to leave the impression that Israel’s withdrawal is without condition (and hence one understands that her presence in the territories is illegitimate). Resolution 242 calls for a packaged deal. It calls for the end of conflict through the recognition of Israel’s right to exist together with the withdrawal. Do you recognize Israel’s right to exist? It’s rather clear that you don’t. In any case, the conflict remains unresolved, and hence there is no withdrawal – all in accordance to 242.

    Reply
    • Jeremy R. Hammond

      UNSC 242 calls for both withdrawal and secure and recognized borders. It does not condition either one upon the other.

      I don’t recognize any country’s “right to exist”. This is a ridiculous concept with no meaning. The proper framework is the right to self-determination. It is the Palestinians being denied this right by the US and Israel, and not vice versa.

      Reply
      • Yehudah ben-Hayim

        The UNSC resolution 242 is a package deal: withdrawal from territories AND a recognition of the right of all states in the region to live in peace in secure and recognized borders (i.e. all this happens with the end of conflict). However, going by your logic, that “it does not condition either one upon the other”, then you should be demanding from the Arabs that they recognize Israel’s right to live in peace even though she has not yet withdrawn from the territories – after all there are no conditions.

      • Jeremy R. Hammond

        Israel has no “right to live in peace” so long as it is occupying Palestinian land, destroying Palestinian homes, killing Palestinian children, etc. The Palestinians have a right to self-defense and to take up arms against the foreign occupying forces. It is really simple. If Israel wants peace, is should live up to its obligations under international law, including by obeying UNSC 242 and withdrawing from Palestinian land.

      • Yehudah ben-Hayim

        You have explained that 242 calls for withdrawal from territories and the right of all states in the region to live in peace – and that that 242 “does not condition either one upon the other”. That is to say that it’s not a packaged deal – that Israel must withdraw unconditionally. So, by this understanding of 242, the Arabs must recognize Israel’s right to live in peace also unconditionally. Yet, now you deny this understanding. The Palestinians. so you claim, have the right of resistance. But what about Israel’s right to live in peace in accordance to 242? Well, it turns out that it is a packaged deal after all – withdrawal and recognition of Israel’s right to live in peace are meant to happen at the same time. In short, there must be a negotiated end of conflict in which Israel’s rights are recognized and she withdraws from territories at one and the same time.

      • Jeremy R. Hammond

        You can try to spin it however you like, but the fact that you reject that Palestinians have a right to resistance to foreign military occupation, which is ipso facto a rejection that Palestinians have a right to self-defense pretty much speaks for itself.

      • Yehudah ben-Hayim

        The Palestinians agreed in the Interim Agreement of 1995 that Israel have jurisdiction over Area C until the conflict is resolved (“final-status agreement”). So, no, they do not have the right of armed resistance against that which they have agreed to. On the contrary, they obligated themselves to resolve the conflict only through negotiations. Anti-Israel people, those who believe that Israel should not have been founded, don’t recognize that Israel has any rights. The status quo has been determined through an agreement in Oslo – and this status quo will remain in effect until the end of conflict. That’s the agreement.

  3. Sheldon Richman

    Apart from whether “Israel” has the “right to exist” (the question cannot be answered in that form), Palestinians have many times expressed a willingness to accept the Jewish State. In reply the Israeli government has systematically gobbled up Palestinian land on the West Bank and in East Jerusalem in order to build Jewish-only residential areas.

    Reply
    • Jeremy R. Hammond

      Indeed. Even Hamas, which our media obligatorily says “seeks the destruction of Israel” has repeatedly since 2005 said they seek a Palestinian state alongside Israel along the ’67 lines.

      Reply
      • Yehudah ben-Hayim

        No, Hamas does not claim that it wishes a Palestinian state along side Israel as the end of conflict. Hamas has stated many times that if Israel would withdraw from the territories, return all the refugees, and allow for the founding of a Palestinian state on the ’67 borders – then they would agree to a 10 year cease-fire with Israel. They do not accept the existence of Israel, but they would be willing to renew the war with her in 10 years time.

      • Jeremy R. Hammond

        Certainly, if Israel didn’t keep its end of the deal, but violated such a truce, Hamas would consider it void. Obviously, Hamas hopes Israel wouldn’t violate such a truce, and the end of the conflict could come with a Palestinian state alongside Israel.

      • Yehudah ben-Hayim

        Hamas is very clear that they will never accept the existence of Israel. They aim to found an Islamic state in its stead. The most that they offer Israel is a temporary cease-fire.

      • Jeremy R. Hammond

        Hamas is very clear that they will never accept the existence of Israel.

        On the contrary, as we’ve just been over, Hamas has repeatedly made very clear its position that it is willing to accept a Palestinian state alongside Israel along the ’67 lines.

      • Yehudah ben-Hayim

        No, Mr Hammond, you are again quoting just one half of the Hamas position (just like your original quote from UNSC 242 was just the part about withdrawal, without mentioning the acceptance of Israel’s right to live in peace as part of the resolution as well). The Hamas position is that with the withdrawal from the territories and the establishment of a Palestinian state therein and the return of all the refugees, etc. – then they will agree to a ten-year ceasefire with Israel. That means that they agree to live with Israel under a “hudna”. The conflict remains in force, and hostilities will continue in ten years time. That’s not really “living with Israel” (whose name they never mention). I suppose that you have read the Hamas Charter. It’s obvious what is the ultimate violent fate of Israel and her population in the Hamas worldview.

      • Jeremy R. Hammond

        Well, now, Hamas’s position isn’t that “hostilities will continue in ten years time”. You just made that up.

      • Yehudah ben-Hayim

        You can read for yourself the Hamas offer in Wikipedia:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hudna

        Here’s the heart of the matter.

        “In January 2004, senior Hamas leader Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi offered a 10-year hudna in return for complete withdrawal from all territories captured in the Six Day War, the establishment of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza, and the unlimited “right of return” for all Palestnian refugees into Israel. Rantissi said the hudna was limited to ten years and represented a decision by the movement because it was “difficult to liberate all our land at this stage; the hudna would however not signal a recognition of the state of Israel.”[1] However, Hamas later repudiated this offer and claimed they would never recognize Israel or compromise on their position that Israel needed to be dismantled and replaced by a single Palestinian state.”

      • Jeremy R. Hammond

        I don’t need to look to Wikipedia. I’m perfectly familiar with Hamas’s history of stating its position of seeking a Palestinian state alongside Israel. This is the position it has stated repeatedly since at least 2005.

      • Yehudah ben-Hayim

        And if you’re familiar with Hamas’ position, I would assume that you have read its Charter. The Charter is quite clear about the fate of Israel and its Jewish population (total destruction). I listen to the broadcasting of Hamas. It’s very clear that they will never accept the existence of the State of Israel.

      • Jeremy R. Hammond

        It’s very clear that they would accept the existence of Israel, as clearly indicated in their repeated statements that they would accept a Palestinian state alongside Israel if Israel was to withdraw from the occupied territories.

    • Yehudah ben-Hayim

      No, the Palestinian leadership has made it very clear that they will never recognize a “Jewish state”. They are willing to recognize that a state has come into existence and it calls itself Israel. Accepting a “Jewish state” is the same as accepting the legitimacy of Zionism (i.e. the Jews are a people, and hence have the right to self-determination). In the Palestinian ideology, the Jews are not a people (they are merely a religious community) – so they have no right to statehood. Moreover, the recognition of the existence of a state that calls itself Israel does not mean to the Palestinians that such a state had the right to be founded and to live in peace.

      Reply
      • Jeremy R. Hammond

        Of course they won’t recognize a “Jewish state”. But not for the reason you give, which is nonsense, as you well know. Rather, because this is a racist construct that renders the 20 percent of Israelis who are Arab to second-class citizenship, as you well know.

      • Yehudah ben-Hayim

        There are so many states in the world that have national minorities. The new Estonian state, for example, has a very large Russian minority. Even in the Arab world you have non-Arabic minorities in the various Arab states. So, in Iraq you have a Kurdish minority. Israel is the national home of the Jews, and it has an Arab minority. It’s quite a normal phenomenon in the democratic world (the Swedish minority in Finland, the Frisian minority in Holland). The only reason that the Arabs reject Jewish statehood is that they reject Jewish claims to self-determination. It says so quite clearly in the Palestinian National Covenant.

      • Jeremy R. Hammond

        Nonsense and hypocrisy. It is the Israelis who reject the right of the Palestinians to self-determination, not vice versa. The Palestinians have long accepted the two-state solution, a significant concession on their part.

      • Yehudah ben-Hayim

        And I explained to you (using your logic) that the recognition of the right of all states in the region to live in peace is, therefore, also not conditionalized on the withdrawal from territories. The Arabs are obligated by your logic to allow Israel to live in peace even if she hasn’t yet withdrawn. Yet, not so surprisingly, you think that this clause of 242 (the right to live in peace) is conditionalized by withdrawal. Obviously, withdrawal is also conditionalized by an end of hostilities arrangement as well, and that was the intention of UNSC 242. Ironically, the Arabs themselves don’t agree with you. Egypt recognized Israel’s right to live in peace in exchange for withdrawal from Sinai in the 1979 peace treaty. The PLO has also agreed that withdrawal will take place within the framework of an end-of-conflict deal. It’s interesting to note your “more Catholic than the Pope attitude”. The Arabs understand that they will have to negotiate a peace treaty in order to receive their lost territories, but a non-Arab supporter of the Arab cause is stubbornly demanding that territories be returned even as the conflict continues.

      • Jeremy R. Hammond

        I can only repeat myself so many times. UNSCR 242 calls on Israel to unconditionally withdraw from the occupied territories. Period. There is a perfectly logical reason withdrawal was listed first as a requirement in 242, before establishment of secure and recognized boundaries. That order is not arbitrary, but follows from the principles of international law that (i) the acquisition of territory by war is unlawful and (ii) the right to self-defense includes the right to armed resistance against foreign military occupation.

      • Yehudah ben-Hayim

        The Jews accepted the UN Partition Plan of 1947. This plan called for the establishment of an Arab state and a Jewish state in the country. The Jewish acceptance of the plan means that they have recognized the rights of the Palestinian Arabs to self-determination. The Arab side rejected partition (the biggest mistake in the whole history of conflict that you justify entirely). The rejection of partition means that the Palestinians do not recognize the Jewish right of self-determination in the country. More recently, the PLO and the State of Israel signed the Interim Agreement (1995), in which the Palestine Authority was established. That is another recognition of the Palestinian right of self-determination. When the Palestinians decide that they wish to end the conflict with Israel, it’s obvious that there will be two sovereign states in the territory of the former British Mandate – a Jewish state and an Arab state, similar to the original proposal of 1947 (which, sadly, you still reject).

      • Jeremy R. Hammond

        The Zionists accepted the partition plan as a means to an end, which end was the goal of making all of Palestine into a “Jewish state”. The partition plan was prejudicial to the rights of the Palestinians, suggesting that the 55% of the land go to the Jewish state even though Jews owned only about 6% of the land, and only 45% to the Arabs, even though Arabs were in possession of over 80% of the land, and owned more land than Jews in every single province in Palestine. The statement that “Jewish acceptance of the plan means that they have recognized the rights of the Palestinian Arabs to self-determination” is absolute nonsense, given the fact that the UN Special Commission on Palestine (UNSCOP) which produced the partition plan explicitly noted that the plan was premised upon the rejection of the right of the Arab majority to self-determination. The Arabs naturally and rightly rejected this racist and prejudicial plan. The Oslo Accords do not recognize the Palestinian right to self-determination, as you falsely claim. Far from it. The Palestinians have long accepted the international consensus on a two-state solution, rejected only by Israel and the US. When Israel decides that it wishes to end the conflict with the Palestinians and withdraw from the occupied territories, it’s obvious that there will be two sovereign states in the territory of the former British Mandate – Israel and Palestine, with the Palestinians being the only side have made any concessions.

      • Yehudah ben-Hayim

        In the anti-Israel propaganda, it is always preferable to reject Israel’s claims or aspirations through technical arguments, avoiding attacking Israel on the basis of ideology. So, here’s the real Palestinian position in 1947: They do not agree to the founding of a Jewish state, nor do they agree to promising the rights of the Jewish population within the framework of a Palestinian state over the whole country. Instead of stating this simple truth, there is a strange argument that the Jews only owned 6% of the land. In establishing sovereignty, private ownership of land is an irrelevant issue. Borders are established through politics, not through owning private property.
        From the point of view of the Jews, accepting partition meant accepting the rights of others to self-determination. From the point of view of UNSCOP, the Palestinians were being denied self-determination over the entire land – but they were not being denied self-determination. A state was offered to them on part of the country.
        When there will be an agreement between the two sides to end the conflict, then there will be a withdrawal to the agreed-upon border. There will not be a withdrawal only to find out that there is still a conflict. After all, there was a conflict before June 1967 – so it’s not a conflict defined by the conquests of 1967, so it won’t end through withdrawal.

      • Jeremy R. Hammond

        Nonsense. I defer to my previous comment. The facts are as I stated them.

      • Yehudah ben-Hayim

        Are you claiming that the conflict is merely over the territories captured in 1967? Are you seriously claiming that the withdrawal from such territories would mean the end of conflict? The conflict wasn’t born in 1967. The PLO was founded in 1964 (in Jerusalem), and its charter published then calls for the destruction of Israel (in the gren line). The two sides have to arrive at an end-of-conflict agreement in which it must be stated that there are no more grievances or claims. Withdrawal will be part of that agreement. In the meanwhile, the status quo of conflict will remain unchanged.

      • Jeremy R. Hammond

        I’ve no interest in debating strawman arguments. If you wish to challenge anything I said on any point of fact or logic, you are welcome to try to do so. Suffice to repeat that UNSCR 242 calls on Israel to unconditionally withdraw from the occupied territories.

      • Yehudah ben-Hayim

        UNSC rsolution calls for withdrawal AND the right of all states to live in peace in secure and recognized borders. In short, withdrawal and end of conflict are simultaneous. However, more recently, the PLO and the State of Israel signed a treaty called the Interim Agreement (1995). This is an agreement signed by Arafat himself, in the name of his people. It has been agreed that with an end of conflict agreement (“final status”), there will be an agreement on borders (withdrawal), refugees, Jerusalem, settlements, and Palestinian statehood. Until we reach this final status of an end of conflict, it has been agreed that Israel has jurisdiction over Jerusalem and Area C. So, Mr Hammond, the situation as it is now is an agreed situation. Israel will withdraw only with the end of conflict – and to agreed upon borders (which may or may not be identical to the 1967 border). Moreover, the Palestinians agreed to settle the outstanding issues only through negotiations – not through violence.

      • Jeremy R. Hammond

        You are conditioning withdrawal upon a final agreement upon borders again, which is contrary to 242, as I’ve already explained. Israel must withdraw, period.

      • Yehudah ben-Hayim

        And as I have already explained to you, UNSC 242 calls for withdrawal and the end of conflict. So there will, indeed, be a withdrawal as soon as the conflict has ended in accordance to 242. However, much more important than 242 is the agreement that the Palestinians signed in Sept 1995 – the Interim Agreement. There the Palestinians themselves agreed that an end of conflict must be negotiated. This final status agreement will define sovereignty (statehood and borders), the status of Jerusalem, refugees, and settlements. Until then – so it has been agreed – Israel has jurisdiction over Area C. Israel’s rule is in accordance to an international agreement signed by the two sides, and witnessed by the entire international community. In short, this is now international law.

      • Jeremy R. Hammond

        And as I already explained to you, UNSC 242 does not condition withdrawal on the establishment of secure and recognized boundaries. Under 242, Israel must withdraw from the occupied territories, period. Oslo did not nullify 242, as much as the US and Israel would wish otherwise.

      • Yehudah ben-Hayim

        Here’s UNSC 242:

        “Affirms that the fulfillment of Charter principles requires the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East which should include the application of both the following principles:

        “Withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict;

        “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…”

        The resolution requires the establishment of a just and lasting peace that should include withdrawal and the termination of bellingerency. Notice that 242 is about establishing peace. It SHOULD include withdrawal, but in the framework of peace and the end of hostilities. Your interpretation of the resolution as if it requires an immediate withdrawal even though the conflict has not been resolved is unfounded. Quite the contrary – it speaks first and foremost of establishing peace.

      • Jeremy R. Hammond

        Yes, it speaks first and foremost of establishing peace. Hence the requirement that Israel withdraw.

      • Yehudah ben-Hayim

        I should bring to your attention the word “both”. UNSC 242 speaks of “the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East which should include the application of BOTH the following principles….” – both withdrawal and the end of hostilities. There is no hint that the one principle or the other is immediate and stands in its own right. Peace should include BOTH of them.

      • Jeremy R. Hammond

        Yes, it says “both”. I know. Hence all of my previous comments.

      • Yehudah ben-Hayim

        UNSC 242 noted, as you SHOULD have noticed, that the establishment of peace in the Middle East “SHOULD include withdrawal”. You say that Israel is “required” to withdraw. As a native English speaker, do you think that “should withdraw” means “must withdraw”? It sounds more like a recommendation to withdraw. Well, anyway, political reality is that when there will be an agreement to end the conflict, there will then be a withdrawal to the agreed borders. Actually, that will be exactly in accordance to the language of 242: with the establishment of peace, there should be a withdrawal to agreed borders and there should be a recognition of Israel’s right to live in peace.

      • Jeremy R. Hammond

        Okay, well, by the logic of that argument, 242 only says there should be “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”, but this was merely a recommendation and not a requirement. LOL! But nice try.

        No, “a withdrawal to the agreed borders” is emphatically not in accordance with the language of 242, as I have repeatedly pointed out. You are once again trying to condition withdrawal upon establishment of borders, and, once again, 242 attaches no such condition on its requirement that Israel withdraw from the occupied territories in accordance with the principle that acquisition of territory by war is inadmissible under international law.

      • Yehudah ben-Hayim

        I’m quite certain that you have noticed that 242 speaks of the establishment of peace that should include two principles. There is no demand that one or the other of the two principles should precede the establishment of peace.

      • Jeremy R. Hammond

        What a plainly nonsensical statement.

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