The Arab League’s 2002 “peace intitiative“ returns to the international spotlight, and despite the hype, it still remains a non-starter. One of the main reasons why the AL’s initiative cannot be used as the basis for any future peace talks, is that the drafted document ipso-facto negates UN Security Council’s Resolution 242, which is THE basis for for any permanent settlement of the Arab/Israeli conflict. The Arab Peace Initiative states:
I- Full Israeli withdrawal from all the territories occupied since 1967, including the Syrian Golan Heights, to the June 4, 1967 lines as well as the remaining occupied Lebanese territories in the south of Lebanon.
This is a complete trashing of UNSCR 242. Contrary to popular myth, the famous UNSC resolution does not demand an Israeli withdrawal from “all the territories”, but simply states just “from territories”. According to both US and British ambassadors at the time,
British UN Ambassador, Lord Caradon, who introduced the resolution to the Council:
It would have been wrong to demand that Israel return to its positions of June 4, 1967, because those positions were undesirable and artificial. After all, they were just the places where the soldiers of each side happened to be on the day the fighting stopped in 1948. They were just armistice lines. That’s why we didn’t demand that the Israelis return to them.
The United States’ UN Ambassador, former Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg:
The notable omissions – which were not accidental – in regard to withdrawal are the words “the” or “all” and the “June 5, 1967 lines” … the resolution speaks of withdrawal from occupied territories without defining the extent of withdrawal. [This would encompass] less than a complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from occupied territory, inasmuch as Israel’s prior frontiers had proved to be notably Insecure.
The stated facts above gives Israel more than enough reason to conclude that the Arabs have not yet accepted UNSCR 242 in its entirety, and are still holding on to the illusion that “Israel alone” is the one to make all the concessions for peace, while the Arabs decide if they have gone far enough to meet their demands. Unfortunately the EU has adopted the same political interpretation of UNSCR 242 as the Arabs, which further underlines the importance of Bat Ye’or’s book Eurabia.
The Arab Peace Initiative goes on to invoke the UN Gerneral Assembly’s non-binding suggestion concerning the refugees. UNGAR 194, was drafted by the UN General Assembly only mentions once the issue of refugees, dealing mostly with the setting up of the parameters of a commission to help negotiate a settlement between the warring parties.
II- Achievement of a just solution to the Palestinian refugee problem to be agreed upon in accordance with U.N. General Assembly Resolution 194.
Whenever the issue of “refugees” is brought to the discussion table, Israel logically concludes that the issue of the Jewish refugees will be discussed as well. That “these refugees” are conveniently excluded from international discussions and dialogue, only serves to reinforce the impression in Israel, that the world’s majority is only interested in addressing Arab injustices, not Jewish ones.
The Arab idea behind the refugee problem is to use it as a sort of “battering ram” on the world’s conscious, after succesive hammerings, only then will the world begin to demand the Arabs “rightfull return” to their homes in order to relieve the headache.
Israeli FM, Tzipi Livni recently stated that:
“A permanent agreement with the Palestinians is impossible in the current situation,” Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said Tuesday evening, following three days of intense diplomatic talks.” And that “the Palestinians still needed to implement the first stage of the road map, which was the abandonment of terror.”
They have repeatedly refused to even stop the incitement of Israel in their schools, mosques and media, let alone renounce terror, I really can’t hold out too much hope for anything concrete to develop in the way of a mutual and permanent peace between the two sides, until the Arabs openly reject the dream of a greater Palestine, which means the destruction of Israel, whether by force or demographics. *L* KGS
Note: If the UNHCR’s criteria is used in determining refugee status, the actual number of valid Palestinian refugees shrinks to around 200 000. But, that is why the Palestinians have their own UN refugee organization, the UNWRA, which uses a completely different system in designating refugee status, which allows them to claim over four milion Palestinian refugees in existence. Pretty convenient huh?
Update: To further illustrate my point that the European’s have taken the Arab position on UNSCR 242, Finnish state TV YLE, has the following report on its website, that methodically reports the Arab viewpoint,
“Esityksessä vaaditaan Israelin vetäytymistä alueilta, jotka se miehitti vuoden 1967 sodassa. Lisäksi esityksessä vaaditaan Israelia hyväksymään palestiinalaisvaltion perustaminen ja palestiinalaisten pakolaisten paluu.” (The initiative demands Israel’s withdrawal from the area in occupied in the 67′ war. In addition it demands Israel’s acceptance of a Palestinian state and the return of refugees).
YLE chose not to mention UNSCR 242’s implicit rejection of a full Israeli withdrawal, (a little tid-bit that would have been a help to the viewer) which leads me to conlcude that either YLE’s journalists are completly ignorant, or refuse to mention it for whatever ideological reasons that they may have. They even included for the very first time, (that I am aware) a video in their website report…….hmmmmm.
Fortunately the sound is not working.