What’s the big deal about the pre-1967 'borders'?

The solutions offered to broker an Israel-PA peace do not take the real aspirations of each side into account. Opinion.

Avraham Shusteris ,

Six Day War Paratroopers at the Wall
Six Day War Paratroopers at the Wall
David Rubinger

Every discussion in relation to Israeli Palestinian Arab peace centers around the pre-1967 'borders', in truth simply the Armistice Lines at the end of Israel's 1948 War of Independence..

Many middle east experts opine that the solution to the Israeli Palestinian problem already exists, the only thing that's missing is leadership brave enough to implement it on both sides:

-Israel retreats to its size before the 1967 war, with a few land swaps, and the Palestinian Arabs get their own state.

-Israel gets to maintain the largest settlement blocs and gains global recognition, while the Palestinian Arabs gain freedom and dignity.

This concept was more or less the basis of every peace talk between Israelis and Palestinians, moderated by the Western powers.

While this arrangement appears to offer a fair and balanced solution on the surface, if one ignores the fact that Judea and Samaria are the Jewish biblical heartland and part of the area promised to the Jews by the San Remo Conference, what it fails to do is to actually take into account what each side really wants.

The Palestinian axis (Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran, etc) is not interested in remote Israeli settlement blocs. It is interested in Haifa, in Tel Aviv, and in the entirety of Jerusalem. They have each said it and continue to say it themselves. The borders that they are truly interested in are not pre-1967 borders, but pre 1948 borders.

Given the fact that the axis of Palestinian support makes no effort to hide its true aspirations, it's curious how the Western world has decided on its behalf that it would be happy to end all conflict with Israel and the Jews based on a compromise which provides a small fraction of what the Palestinians and their cohorts really want ands feel is rightly theirs.

It also doesn’t take into account what Israelis want. Although the Israeli right feels strongly about maintaining sovereignty over Judea and Samaria, the Israelis as a whole have shown time and time again, that the name of the game is security and gaining acceptance by Israel's neighbors. But any sort of arrangement in which the Palestinian Arabs have the freedom to handle their own security and supply their own arms (aka a real state) would preclude security for the Israelis.

Any compromise arrangement in which the Palestinian Arabs felt that they were not getting what they believe is truly theirs, would never give the Israelis the acceptance they crave. It may bring a short term ceasefire at best until the Palestinians have the opportunity to rearm.

Given that this is the case, why do the Western powers insist on imposing a solution to a problem that does not take into account the true wants of both sides of the conflict?

There may be diplomatic and political answers to this question. I would like to offer a metaphysical one. The 1967 borders are not arbitrary borders. The issue isn’t truly about a green line. The issue is what this 1967 line represents to the nations of the world.

In 1967, Israel was attacked by a multitude of Arab armies simultaneously on all of its fronts. At the time, the feeling in Israel and around the world was that less than three decades after Auschwitz, the Jews would be finally be finished off once and for all - and in their own land. When the puny Jewish State was able to overcome several massive Arab armies backed by the Soviet Union in only six days, no one could deny that Israel had experienced a miracle. Not only did the Jews survive a massive slaughter, but they went on to capture territory which would significantly expand Israel's size.

When the same nations of the world, who stood by in silence as the Jews were being massacred by the millions in Europe, preach about Israel’s moral prerogative to return the land that is captured in 1967, their demand is not simply about creating a fair deal for the Palestinians. In truth, they could not care less about the Palestinian Arabs.

Their real issue and sticking point is not about one particular border or another, one "settlement" or another. Their issue is not about equity, dignity, or compromise. Their issue is wanting to undue the miracle that was done in 1967. More so than any other national event in Israel’s history, the events of the summer of 1967, presented on the world stage the fact that there was still a G-d in the world, and He was looking out for His people. Perhaps no other event in recent history was a more poignant example of that fact.

That is precisely what the secularist, liberal world powers want to undermine. They are uninterested in accepting the concept that the world is divinely run and orchestrated and certainly are not happy about the fact the Jews are His chosen people. If the Jews would agree to reverse what happened in 1967, that would undermine the miracle and send a message that humanity is not interested in G-d or His miracles. (In a way, it is perversely reminiscent of the Vatican not recognizing Israel until 1993 because its establishment went against the belief that the Jews had been replaced by the Christians).

When we take the time to understand what each side in the conflict, including the mediators, hopes to achieve, it becomes much easier to solidify ones own position.

Any idea or discussion of negating or reversing that Six Day miracle is more than just a political or diplomatic discussion.

Avraham Shusteris is an accountant in Ramat Beit Shemesh. He made aliyah from Monsey with his family in 2018.



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