There is a one-step fits all, sure-fire, infallible, one-hundred-percent guaranteed way of immediately extinguishing any argument which has as any part of it that Israel is forbidden from building cities, towns, business parks, shopping malls or anything their minds’ or hearts’ desire east of the Green Line up to and including along the banks of the Jordan River and Dead Sea; and that is the very well-crafted and painstakingly worked wording of the argument the other side loves to wave around never allowing it to slow so anybody can have an opportunity to read it, that is United Nations Security Council Resolution 242. They will claim that Israel must pull out of all the territories they won by their aggressions in the June 1967 Six Day War which means the 1949 Armistice lines which separated Israel from Palestine on June 4, 1967. Did you catch the main lies? The first is that Resolution 242 is a Chapter VI resolution which means it is not enforceable by the United Nations or any of the member states which was because it was evident and fresh in the minds of the world the words and threats from the Arab nations which made any and all Israeli actions legal self-defense and since Egypt had already blockaded the Israeli port of Eilat which was an act of aggressions which was tantamount to an actual invasion. Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser had announced the blockade stating, “The Israeli flag shall not go through the Gulf of Aqaba. Our sovereignty over the entrance to the Gulf cannot be disputed.” This was a blockade which had no legal footing thus was tantamount to an act of war and should requests for its lifting remain unanswered or followed by more bluster and threats a state of war then exists with the blockading nation the aggressor, thus Egypt was in a state of declaring a war on Israel making any act by Israel a defensive act under international law. Israel had made requests and then demands but Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser simply kept repeating his boasts. The following threats and declarations of standing with Egypt simply added more fuel to a flame and something would initiate the actual war and no matter who struck, Israel was already under declarations for her annihilation making any act an act of defense. Here are samplings of some of the statements made from other national leaders from Egypt, Syria, Iraq and others.
Egyptian Radio, ‘Voice of the Arabs,’ “The sole method we shall apply against Israel is total war, which will result in the extermination of Zionist existence.” (May 18, 1967).
Syrian Defense Minister Hafez al-Assad was quoted boasting, “I, as a military man, believe that the time has come to enter into a battle of annihilation.” (May 20, 1967).
Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser declared, “We intend to open a general assault against Israel. This will be total war. Our basic aim will be to destroy Israel.” (May 26, 1967).
Gamal Abdel Nasser stated in a definitely threatening speech that, “The armies of Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon are poised on the borders of Israel … to face the challenge, while standing behind us are the armies of Iraq, Algeria, Kuwait, Sudan and the whole Arab nation. This act will astound the world. Today they will know that the Arabs are arranged for battle, the critical hour has arrived. We have reached the stage of serious action and not of more declarations.” (May 30th 1967).
Gamal Abdel Nasser stated in a speech to the General Council of the International Confederation of Arab Trade Unions, “Taking over Sharm el-Sheikh meant confrontation with Israel also meant that we were ready to enter a general war with Israel. The battle will be a general one and our basic objective will be to destroy Israel” (May 26th 1967).
Iraqi President Abdur Rahman Aref shot his mouth off with, “The existence of Israel is an error which must be rectified. This is our opportunity to wipe out the ignominy which has been with us since 1948. Our goal is clear – to wipe Israel off the map.” (May 31, 1967).
Not to be left out, Al Akhbar, Cairo’s daily newspaper boasted, “Under the terms of the military agreement signed with Jordan, Jordanian artillery, coordinated with the forces of Egypt and Syria, is in a position to cut Israel in two at Qalqilya, where Israeli territory between the Jordan armistice line and the Mediterranean Sea is only 12 kilometers wide.” (May 31st 1967).
In a Radio broadcast Iraqi President Abdel Rahman Aref stated, “Brethren and sons, this is the day of the battle to avenge our martyred brethren who fell in 1948. It is the day to wash away the stigma. We shall, God willing, meet in Tel Aviv and Haifa” (June 1st 1967).
Ahmed Shukairy, chairman of PLO in Jordanian Jerusalem, was asked in news interview what will happen to the Israelis if there is a war, he replied, “Those who survive will remain in Palestine. I estimate that none of them will survive.” (June 1st 1967)
Jordanian King Husain in a press conference called in Amman, Jordan issued a warning to Britain that they were in risk of losing their Arab friends cautioned, “There are no words I can use to express my disappointment at the attitude that the British Government has taken with regard to the Gulf of Aqaba.”
It was in retrospective that the wording of United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 were slowly and purposely chosen with not only the words which were incorporated but also the words which remain unincluded from the document. Nowhere in the document are the wordings ‘the lands’, ‘all lands’, ‘all the lands’ or other phrasing intimating that all of the lands, all the territories gained by Israel were from an illegal war as Israel was the aggrieved party whose actions were of a defensive nature and thus Israel technically could retain all of the lands; so the Security Council was being aggressive and couching to the rather irate and shocked Arab world who desperately wanted a do-over from the very same borders from which they had just lost a war they were assured they would easily be victorious and sampling the wines on a Tel Aviv beach at least a few months or so before the issuance of UNSC Res 242 which was released on November 22, 1967, over five months since the war was halted before Israel conquered even more lands. The truth be told, Israel had achieved all of their objectives and then some. The most important items Israel was intent on achieving were the Golan Heights and Mount Hermon, all of Judea and Samaria to the West Bank of the Jordan River and at the least the passes in the north, center and south of the central mountains in the Sinai Peninsula which would also include reestablishing the Gaza Strip; but the Red Sea’s eastern leg and the Suez Canal worked just as well and upon the initiation of the Yom Kippur war where Israel was caught completely flat-footed and off-guard thus the additional distance translated to time desperately necessary to gather and organize forces which were mostly in services without any means of being contacted. The IDF sent out unit commanders in vehicles hastily equipped with loud speakers sounding the alarm which usually would have been made by telephone. Additionally, Israel believing that there was no threat as their usually good intelligence had failed and failed utterly leaving additional numbers of troops granted leave for the high holidays thus their front line units were ill prepared and frighteningly undermanned.
There is another set of words which were hopefully well vetted and intentional in every form and application. These words are, “work for a just and lasting peace in which every State in the area can live in security” which is where there is the understanding that the peace will be made between the States of the area with agreements which allow for borders which will provide all states with secure and defensible borders including Israel. This phrase more than any other displays the fact that the members of the Security Council, especially the five permanent members, stressed that all the nations should have defendable borders which would prevent another war in the future. The only nation under threat in the area is Israel unless one counts the attempt by Syria to reconquer the areas they considered to be a large section of southern Syria, an area better known in modernity as Jordan. The other mention was for the peace to be made between the states which were a party to the war which removes any claims by some entity called Palestine as there was no such entity existed on June 5, 1967 and thus such an entity does not have any claim against Israel. Nowhere does the resolution allow for any member state to the conflict to gift their presumed claim to other groups for the purpose of establishing a new nation not originally included in the conflict. If there are Arabs residing in areas west of the Jordan River who would prefer to reside in a state under Arab or Muslim rule there exist numerous states to choose from starting with Jordan, the last nation the Arabs in Judea and Samaria were granted citizenship until Israel gave partial citizenship to the Arabs residing in East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights which Israel had annexed and are now permanent parts of Israel and Hashem help the Israeli leader who thinks or acts otherwise.
Beyond the Cusp