There may be hope for Sweden, after all

'Time for international community to acknowledge Six-Day War is over and that Jerusalem is, has been, will always remain capital of Jews.'

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Mordechai Sones,

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Swedish magazine Världen idag ("The World Today") ran an article entitled Time for the UN to Accept the Outcome of the Six-Day War by Tomas Sandell. Arutz Sheva brings a translation of the article in its entirety for the wholly lucid dedication to truth Sandell demonstrates herein:

This week, the international community will mark the 50th anniversary of the Six-Day War and the reunification of Jerusalem. But despite the fact that Israel won its war against three Arab armies in early June 1967 in record time, the war seems to continue. Indeed, the international community still has difficulty accepting that the small country of Israel, against all odds over the Arab armies, and as a result of winning this war, received new lands.

The war ended formally after six days, June 10, 1967, but still fifty years later, the international community demands that the "occupied" territories of Israel should be returned even though it was not Israel who started the war. Thus, the Israeli "occupation" is considered to be the root of the entire Israel-Palestinian conflict.

The statement is incorrect for two different reasons. According to international law, one can not occupy an area already belonging to a legal entity. Judea and Samaria were assigned to the Jewish state in the 1922 Palestine Mandate in the land area that remained when the original mandate was divided into two parts, a Jewish Palestine (1948 Israel) and an Arab Palestine, today Jordan.

The United Nations partition plan of 1947, on the other hand, had been rejected by the Arab neighbors of Israel and thus never came into force. The lands that Israel regained in the Six-Day War therefore already belonged to it according to international law after being illegally occupied by Jordan for twenty years.

Secondly, international law expressly prohibits a war of aggression. On the other hand, it does not say anything about land areas gained after a regular war of defense. Thus, a country, or a group of countries, can not start a war of aggression and if they lose the war, the counterparty be called out for occupation. Public law can not reasonably forbid countries to defend themselves, or encourage countries to initiate a war of aggression with the promise that they can later regain all the territories that they lose. This would be a recipe for complete chaos where aggressive states are rewarded while the law-abiding ones have no legal rights.

Now it is therefore time for the international community to accept the outcome of the Six-Day War.

Indeed, in UN resolution 242, the Government of Israel has agreed that certain lands should be returned in a peace agreement, but the allegation that Israel is currently occupying Palestinian land is wrong because they "occupied territories" that never belonged to a Palestinian state.

When you repeat in international relations next week that the Six-Day War is the root of the Israel-Palestinian conflict, you are wrong.

If the Palestinian people (actually Arabs living in the Palestine Mandate) had been interested in their own state, one such was founded in 1947 when the UN partition plan offered them everything they are asking for today and more. In other words, one had twenty years, from 1947 to 1967, to create a state, but there was no interest. Therefore, it is intellectually unsound to claim that the war in 1967 is the core of the conflict.

As an external columnist, it is not my job to decide how to resolve the conflict, but the Israeli government has announced that it is prepared to negotiate with the Palestinians about a state, but insists that Jerusalem should remain the undivided capital of Israel, and that today's status will not change and the Temple Mount be preserved under Jordanian administration. This is no unreasonable bargaining position.

After almost fifty years, it is time for the international community to acknowledge that the Six-Day War is over and that Jerusalem is, has been, and will always remain the capital of the Jews. This fact is acknowledged, de facto, every time a head of state travels to Jerusalem to meet the government of the country. These meetings do not happen in Tel Aviv but in Jerusalem. When you talk about partition of Jerusalem between East and West, you forget that only East Jerusalem with the Western Wall is the historic Jerusalem holy to the Jewish people. If you think Israel's demands on Jerusalem are unreasonable, one has to consider the options, to share Jerusalem, and to create a new Mecca in East Jerusalem where no non-Muslim may enter.

For those who want to safeguard universal legal principles and values, it is therefore important to safeguard Jerusalem's current status as a united city open to all religions as well as to those who do not belong to any religion. Jerusalem's reunion is an event worth celebrating, for Christians, Muslims, as well as Jews.

Israeli troops maneuvering on outskirts of Rafah, Gaza
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