|Lord Caradon: “We didn’t |
say there should be a
withdrawal to the ’67 line.”
01 May '14..
On the eve of our Independence Day, an ultra-antagonistic independence – one that manifestly threatens to replace ours – is fast gaining ground. Many Israelis are appalled to see the Ramallah and Gaza splinters officially welcomed in UN-affiliated forums as the State of Palestine. However, given relentless global trends, this travesty was all but inevitable.
“Palestinian independence” had already been declared in Algiers on November 15, 1988 and within mere months the utterly fictional entity was recognized by 134 of the UN’s 193 then-members. All this transpired before Oslo proved how a previously bad situation could be made disastrously worse.
By now, of course, few abroad challenge the popular axiom that a Palestinian state had existed in this country from time immemorial and that it was cruelly overrun in an act of unprovoked aggression by Israel on June 5, 1967.
Even since, it’s alleged, the state of Palestine had been under occupation. In other words, Israel had violently extinguished Palestine’s flourishing sovereignty. This is today’s self-evident, universally worshiped gospel. No substantiation thereof is necessary and any deviation therefrom is sacrilege.
In fact, the truth is remarkably unwanted in this context lest it expose the entire fable as fake. No one wants to know that there never-ever was a Palestinian state – not in the entire annals of mankind. There are advantages to deception, especially when it yields realpolitik perks. Thus the dysfunctional family of nations is more than happy to clasp to its selectively loving bosom another fabricated Arab addition.
The corollary to the much-censured Israeli conquest of an independent Palestine is that independent Palestine had thrived in all the territory that Israel took after June 4, 1967. The demand that Israel retreat to the June 4 lines is, consequently, endowed with moral authority.
Each time the Ramallah honchos and their Jihadist partners in Gaza repeat the 1967-borders mantra, it packs greater punch. It matters little to cynical propagandists, sanctimonious fellow-travelers, gullible do-gooders and know-nothing dupes that there never were 1967 borders (but only 1949 armistice lines, which don’t remotely resemble fixed borders).
The current bogus standard for elementary justice is that these 1967 borders (that never-were) must form the basis for any deal between Israel and the callously conquered Palestinian state (that never was).
This is now the bedrock dictum. Zealous enforcers and sanctifiers of dogmas suffer no skepticism. Whatever they promote as incontrovertible principles must be accepted as incontrovertibly unassailable. Whatever serves their interests and/or belief system cannot be challenged – otherwise it might undermine the paradigm of whatever they present as an absolute.
And so we’re left with an assertion that a preexisting Palestinian state is oppressed by Israel and that to redress this injustice Israel must withdraw to the June 4, 1967 lines. This, we’re told, has been the position of the whole international community from the outset and this position had already been enshrined in UN Security Council Resolution 242 (adopted unanimously on November 22, 1967).
That resolution was hardly Israel-friendly. It began by laying down a rule that applied exclusively to the Jewish state. That rule determined that “acquisition of territory by war is inadmissible.” All other acquisitions of territory by war were expectedly overlooked. Just as expectedly, the UN also overlooked the fact that East Jerusalem, for example, had been under Arab rule solely because it was acquired in 1948 by an act of war launched to thwart UN Resolution 181 (the Partition Resolution of 1947).
Likewise, there was the minor matter that Israel was defending itself in 1967 against the coordinated and hoarsely broadcast belligerence of all its Arab neighbors who unabashedly vowed to annihilate it.
For weeks, the intention to destroy Israel was proclaimed vehemently and vociferously but the international community wasn’t overly perturbed by the prospect of extinguishing Jewish independence. Indeed the UN shamefully pulled out its peacekeeping forces from the Sinai to facilitate an Egyptian attack.
Nonetheless, all that appeared to pale before 242’s demand that Israel withdraw “from territories occupied in the recent conflict.” This was seized upon by the Arab world, its many accomplices and cheerleaders to unequivocally mean a full return to Square One. Israel had to plainly hand over all it gained in a classic war of self-defense.
This became one of the most blatant (and successful) distortions ever, even when judged by the distorters’ dishonorable record.
Resolution 242 simply never said what world opinion is bamboozled into taking for granted.
The chief drafter of 242 was Britain’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Lord Caradon (Hugh Mackintosh Foot). In a February 1973 interview with Israel Radio, he noted that “the essential phrase which is not sufficiently recognized is that withdrawal should take place to secure and recognized boundaries, and these words were very carefully chosen: they have to be secure and they have to be recognized. They will not be secure unless they are recognized. And that is why one has to work for agreement. This is essential. I would defend absolutely what we did. It was not for us to lay down exactly where the border should be. I know the 1967 border very well. It is not a satisfactory border. It is where troops had to stop in 1949, just where they happened to be that night. That is not a permanent boundary.”
An Israeli source is suspect? Well, here’s a source that should arouse no objection. On June 12, 1974 Lord Caradon told Beirut’s Daily Star that “it would have been wrong to demand that Israel return to its positions of 4 June 1967 because those positions were undesirable and artificial. After all, they were just the places the soldiers of each side happened to be the day the fighting stopped in 1949. They were just armistice lines. That’s why we didn’t demand that the Israelis return to them and I think we were right not to.”
In a 1976 interview published by the Journal of Palestine Studies, Lord Caradon was asked why his resolution mentions withdrawal from “occupied territories” rather than from “the occupied territories.” He responded: “We could have said: well, you go back to the 1967 line. But I know the 1967 line, and it’s a rotten line. You couldn’t have a worse line for a permanent international boundary. It’s where the troops happened to be on a certain night in 1949. It’s got no relation to the needs of the situation.”
He elucidated: “Had we said that you must go back to the 1967 line, which would have resulted if we had specified a retreat from all the occupied territories, we would have been wrong. In New York, what did we know about Tayyibe and Qalqilya? If we had attempted in New York to draw a new line, we would have been rather vague.”
The demand for an Israeli retreat to “secure and recognized boundaries,” Lord Caradon stressed, was not meaningless verbiage: “We deliberately did not say that the old line [the June 4, 1967 line, i.e. the 1949 armistice line], where the troops happened to be on that particular night many years ago, was an ideal demarcation line.”
Still not convinced? Lord Caradon, hardly a Lover of Zion, reiterated the essence of the 242 logic in the MacNeil/Lehrer Report, on March 30, 1978: “We didn’t say there should be a withdrawal to the ’67 line; we did not put the ‘the’ in, we did not say ‘all the territories’ deliberately. We all knew that the boundaries of ’67 were not drawn as permanent frontiers; they were a cease-fire line of a couple of decades earlier… We did not say that the ’67 lines must be forever.”
Lord Caradon wasn’t alone in maintaining that Resolution 242 didn’t mandate a return to the status quo ante. Many others who played key roles in formulating 242 attested similarly.
American Eugene Rostow was among them. As US Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs, he helped draft 242. At the 1970 annual meeting of the American Society of International Law he clarified: “It is not legally possible to assert that the provision requires Israeli withdrawal from all the territories now occupied under the Cease-Fire Resolutions to the Armistice Demarcation Lines.”
Moreover, Rostow underscored that the Armistice Agreements of 1949 state that “the Armistice Demarcation Line is not to be construed in any sense as a political or territorial boundary.”
Nowhere in 242 was a Palestinian state ever mentioned. Neither was Jerusalem ever mentioned and certainly not the Johnny-come-lately demand that it be recognized as the Palestinian capital. According to today’s mind-blowing misrepresentation of 242, it isn’t as if the final borders are to be determined by future negotiations but that reinstating the June 4, 1967 lines is compulsory. This is the diktat. It must be implemented rather than discussed.
Gradually and deliberately, all the partial prudence mustered in 1967 was obfuscated and unconscionably warped. Resolution 242 was manipulatively deformed into the quasi-religious two-state doctrine. The key UN Resolution was first calculatingly counterfeited as obliging Israel to a full and unconditional withdrawal from every inch beyond the 1967 starting line.
Later “fine-tuning” centered on the establishment of a Palestinian State with Jerusalem as its capital. Neither figment had yet been invented in 1967 but both are nowadays treated as if they were cardinal components of 242 from its inception.
With frequent repetitions, the two-state premise gains priority in indoctrinated psyches. Memory is reinforced with each tendentious news report and skewed analysis until the preaching becomes an axiomatic irrefutable precept.
All this empowers Ramallah Figurehead Mahmoud Abbas to demand that Israel shrink itself into the existentially perilous 1949 armistice lines, the ones super-dove Abba Eban called “the Auschwitz lines.” Abbas insists that Israel surrender Jerusalem. He refuses any compromise, especially over territories he doesn’t control. In the revised spirit of 242, Abbas has of late brazenly denied that he had ever agreed to “let the Jews keep” the Western Wall.
So much for idyllic coexistence alongside a secure, accepted and recognized Jewish state, “free of threats or acts of force” as stipulated in 242.
Two-state harmony has never been the Arab endgame. Coercing Israel to sign articles of capitulation to facilitate the Jewish state’s ultimate demise is what it’s all about.