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Wednesday, July 07, 2010

The 1967 borders are not defensible

Rick Richman was hoping that President Obama would be asked about the Bush letter on Tuesday. Unfortunately, that did not happen, at least in public.

As is widely known, after the Six Day War, President Johnson commissioned a study of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to determine on a military basis only what territory that Israel liberated during that war it needed to retain in order to have defensible borders. The study was completed within a few weeks after the war. I am reproducing part of the map that accompanied that report below (I wasn't able to include the parts of Sinai that the report recommended that Israel maintain in the screen shot, but there's a link below that includes the full map). As you can see, it does not leave a whole lot of room for a 'Palestinian state,' which is fine because there was no such thing as 'Palestinians' then (the PLO was founded in 1964 and did not have significant support).

What's less known is that immediately upon receiving the report, President Johnson, known today as a great friend of Israel, ordered it concealed because it did not accord with the political goals of having Israel trade most of the land liberated in 1967 for peace. It had a "Group 4" security classification, which meant it should have been disclosed in 1979, but by then Menachem Begin was negotiating the return of the Sinai to the Egyptians - which the report argued against in part - and so the report was not made public until 1983. Begin, who knew of the report, ignored it.

But at least, because of the Joint Chiefs' report, the Johnson administration ensured that Resolution 242 did not require that Israel return to the 1967 border.

There's a summary of the Joint Chiefs' report here. It argues for maintaining most of Judea and Samaria (curiously, just about everything except for the Jordan Valley) and more of the Golan Heights than we have today - we gave some of it back to Syria in 1974.

Finally, here's a video that I think I ran when it came out in May that outlines Israel's security requirements.

Let's go to the videotape.

Note that the video calls for Israel to retain the Jordan Valley and the high ground of Judea and Samaria.

In any event, going back to the 1949 armistice lines (the 1967 border) is suicidal. Even if the result of not going back to the 1967 border is that any 'Palestinian state' looks like Swiss cheese.


At 6:40 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

There is no way Palestinian contiguity can mesh with Israel's security or sovereignty. Israel is not going to grant free passage to Palestinians on its territory under any circumstances. The danger of terrorism is just too great never mind the problem of illegal Arabs settling in Israel.

A contiguous Palestinian state means in practice a dismembered Israel. No such political animal is going to emerge in the Land Of Israel any time soon.


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