Israel, however, was ready to give back land it had conquered—but not all of it, and only in return for peace. In November 1967 that position was ratified in UN Security Council Resolution 242, which became the agreed basis for Arab-Israeli negotiations and spoke of Israel withdrawing from “territories”—but not “the territories” or “all territories”—in return for “termination of all claims or states of belligerency” and “secure and recognized boundaries.”
The present Palestinian preconditions for negotiations with Israel, then, which they have been ritually pronouncing since abandoning the path of negotiations almost three years ago, directly flout elementary moral logic of not rewarding the side of the aggressor, and make a mockery of Resolution 242. The fact that European political actors parrot similar claims about the supposed “illegality” of all Jewish life over the 1967 lines, and that last May President Obama, too, broke precedent with all previous U.S. policy and called for an Israeli return to those lines, is a sobering lesson for Israel about how much stock to put in international commitments and documents.
The Palestinians, though, add stunning hypocrisy to the perversity. On Wednesday Palestinian Media Watch reported that Palestinian Authority TV had for the seventh time broadcast a song that lays claim not only to all the post-1967 lands but to Israel within the 1967 borders as well (“Jaffa, Acre, Haifa, and Nazareth are ours…Tiberias and Ashkelon are Palestinian”)—a message in which the PA indoctrinates all Palestinian youngsters from the cradle.
Clearly, then, Palestinian intolerance for any Israeli presence over the 1967 lines is Palestinian intolerance for any Israeli presence at all. Is the Quartet—comprised of the U.S., the EU, the UN, and Russia—really blind to something so obvious?
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