Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Doctrine of Defensible Borders

Occupied Territories Revisited: Whatever happened to the doctrine of defensible borders?  Abq Jew found this always-timely article by Harry Kanigel in American Thinker, courtesy of Jewish Ideas Daily.
It's a puzzle - isn't it? A a tiny state of a few million industrious souls is viewed as a truculent, sneering imperialist bully. Surely there's a story behind such a cognitive burr. Why would we dispute the morality of a nation that retains territory of high military value gained in a defensive war?
The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs recently published a paper by Alan Baker on a similar topic:  The Fallacy of the “1967 Borders".  Again, courtesy of Jewish Ideas Daily.
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.
Abq Jew still has a pamphlet on this very subject that was written by the late Abba Eban z"l in 1967. Since then, the "situation on the ground" has become much more complicated and incredibly more dangerous.

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