UN in the News
THE GOLAN HEIGHTS AND THE FACTS - UN SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION 242 - A
WITHDRAWAL TO THE 1949/1967 LINES?
The following text was published on April 4, 2000 - as a Full Page Ad - by
The Ariel Center For Policy Research in the Israeli daily, Ha'aretz.
FORMER PRESIDENT LYNDON JOHNSON:
Israel should not have to withdraw its
forces to the pre-June 5 armistice lines. "This is not a prescription for
peace, but for a renewal of hostilities." (Address, June 19, 1967). "It is
that a return to the situation of June 4, 1967, will not bring peace. There
must be secure and there must be recognized borders..." (Address, Sept. 10,
FORMER PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN:
"In the pre-1967 borders, Israel was barely
ten miles wide at its narrowest point. The bulk of Israel's population
lived within artillery range of hostile Arab armies. I am not about to ask
live that way again." (Address to the Nation, September 1, 1982).
FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE, GEORGE SCHULTZ:
"Israel will never negotiate
from, or return to, the lines of partition or to the 1967 borders." (Address
to the Washington Institute For Near East Policy, Sept. 16, 1988).
THE AUTHORS OF RESOLUTION 242:
"The former British Ambassador to the UN, Lord Caradon [the chief-author of
242], tabled a polished draft resolution in the Security Council and
steadfastly resisted all suggestions for change...Kuznetsov of the USSR
asked Caradon to specify 'all' before the word ' territories' and to drop
the word 'recognized.' When Caradon refused, the USSR tabled its own draft
resolution [calling for a withdrawal to the 1967 Lines] but it was not a
viable alternative to the UK text...Members [of the UN Security Council]
voted and adopted the [UK drafted] resolution unanimously..." (UN Security
Council Resolution 242, The Washington Institute For Near East Policy, 1993,
WHAT IS THE STANCE OF SYRIA AND OTHER ARAB STATES ON 242?
Arthur Goldberg, former US Ambassador to the UN, a key author of 242:
"...The notable omissions in regard to withdrawal... are the words 'all',
'the' and 'the June 5, 1967 lines'...There is lacking a declaration
requiring Israel to withdraw from all of the territories occupied by it on,
and after, June 5, 1967... On certain aspects, the Resolution is less
ambiguous than its
withdrawal language. Resolution 242 specifically calls for termination of
all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgment of
the sovereignty of every State in the area. The Resolution also
specifically endorses free passage through international waterways...The
efforts of the Arab States, strongly supported by the USSR, for a
condemnation of Israel as the
aggressor and for its withdrawal to the June 5, 1967 lines, failed to
command the requisite support..." (Columbia Journal of International Law,
Vol 12 no 2, 1973).
Prof. Eugene Rostow, former Undersecretary of State, a key author of 242,
international law authority, Yale University: "UN SC 242 calls on Israel to
withdraw only from territories occupied in the course of the Six Day War -
that is, not from 'all' the territories or even from 'the'
territories...Ingeniously drafted resolutions calling for withdrawal from
'all' the territory were defeated in the Security Council and the General
Assembly one after another. Speaker after speaker made it explicit that
Israel was not to be forced back to the 'fragile and vulnerable' [1949/1967]
Armistice Demarcation Lines..." (UNSC Resolution 242, 1993, p. 17). The
USSR and the Arabs supported a draft demanding a withdrawal to the 1967
Lines. The US, Canada and most of West Europe and Latin America supported
the draft, which was eventually approved by the UN Security Council.
(American Society of International Law, 1970).
Syria rejected UNSC Resolution 242 because it did not require Israel to
withdraw to the 1949/1967 cease fire Lines. Syria was joined by the other
Arab States, claiming that the 1949/1967 Lines were not final borders.
IS THE EVACUATION OF SINAI A PRECEDENT FOR THE GOLAN HEIGHTS?
Prof. Eugene Rostow, former Undersecretary of State: "...The Egyptian model
fits neither the Jordanian nor the Syrian case...Former Secretary of Defense
McNamara has said that if he were the Israel's Minister of Defense, he would
to giving up the Golan Heights...UNSC 242 authorizes the parties to make
whatever territorial changes the situation requires - it does not require
the Israelis to transfer to the Arabs all, most, or indeed any of the
occupied territories. The Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty awards [to the
Arabs] more than 90 percent of the territory Israel captured in the Six Day
a transfer [of all the territories] if the parties accept it, but it does
not require it..." (UNSC Resolution 242, 1993, pp 18-19).
UNSC RESOLUTION AND ISRAEL'S DEFENSIBLE BORDERS:
A few days before the UNSC vote on 242, President Johnson summoned UN
Ambassador Arthur Goldberg and Undersecretary Eugene Rostow to formulate the
US position on the issue of 'secure boundaries' for Israel. They were
presented with the Pentagon Map, which had been prepared by the Chairman of
the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Earle Wheeler. The map displayed the
"minimum territory needed by Israel for defensive purposes," which included
Golan Heights and the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria. The
participants of the meeting agreed that the Pentagon Map fulfilled the
requirements of 242 for 'secure borders.' (Prof. Ezra Zohar, A Concubine in
the Middle East, Geffen Publishing, p. 39; Makor Rishon weekly, March 10,
THE ESSENCE OF UNSC RESOLUTION 242:
- ***242 does not refer at all the 1949/1967 Lines;
- ***242 mandates negotiation - give and take, rather than give and give;
- ***242 never refers to withdrawal from ALL the territories, which would
negate the principle of negotiation;
- ***242 calls for the introduction of a NEW reality of 'secure and recognized
borders', which indicates that the OLD reality of the 1949/1967 Lines is
neither secure nor recognized.