Afterword Segment 10/14
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6. The Evolution of US Policy
The "peace process" is concerned with the consequences of the June 1967 war, which left Israel in control of Egypt's Sinai peninsula, the Syrian Golan Heights, the Gaza Strip, and the West Bank. Other issues are not under consideration. To mention only one, while Jordan's illegitimate occupation of the West Bank figures prominently in US-Israeli propaganda, the fact that the Palestinian state proposed in the 1947 UN resolution was partitioned between Jordan and Israel, with a measure of collusion, and that Egypt fought in the 1948 war in part to counter the ambitions of Britain's Jordanian client, is left to scholarly monographs.27
Another settled issue is that negotiations are based on UN resolution 242, adopted by the Security Council in November 1967. This resolution keeps to interstate relations, avoiding the Palestinian issue, and is therefore acceptable to Washington, as distinct from UN resolutions dating back to December 1948 that endorse Palestinian rights that the US does not acknowledge (though in some cases, the US voted for the resolutions). Crucially not settled is what UN 242 means; it was left intentionally vague to assure at least formal acceptance by the states of the region.
UN 242 opens by "emphasizing the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war and the need to work for a just and lasting peace in which every State in the area can live in security." It calls for "withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict," "termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgment of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries..."
Two crucial questions of interpretation arise: First, what is the meaning of the phrase "from territories occupied" (all?, most? some?). Second, what is to be the fate of the indigenous population of the former Palestine, who are not a State and therefore do not fall under the resolution?
Both questions were addressed by the Security Council in January 1976, in the resolution discussed earlier, which incorporated the basic wording of UN 242. They were answered by the call for a two-state settlement on the Green Line. The US veto effectively terminated any UN role in the peace process. The two basic questions concerning UN 242 therefore remain unresolved. To be more precise, they will be resolved by force, that is, by the United States alone.
A different answer had been formulated by UN mediator Gunnar Jarring in a February 1971 proposal, accepted by President Sadat of Egypt, calling for a full peace treaty on the Green Line with nothing for the Palestinians. Israel recognized that Sadat had made a genuine peace offer, but rejected it with no counteroffer; the Labor Party was committed to broader territorial gains. The Israeli rejection again shows that the basic problem is not Palestinian rights per se, but rather the fact that recognizing them would end Israeli control over the territories.
The US backed Israel's rejection of the Sadat offer, adopting Kissinger's policy of "stalemate." The Jarring-Sadat peace proposal has thereby been barred from history, at least in the United States. In Israel, in contrast, even conservative Middle East specialists recognize that Israel may have "missed a historic opportunity" in 1971.28
The Jarring-Sadat proposal was similar to the interpretation of UN 242 outside of Israel, as well as to official US policy (the Rogers Plan). That the US shared this understanding is also indicated by a secret State Department study of the negotiations leading to UN 242, leaked to US journalist and Middle East historian Donald Neff.29 The study has been kept secret "so as not to embarrass Israel," Neff concludes. It quotes the chief American negotiator, Arthur Goldberg, who informed King Hussein of Jordan that the US "could not guarantee that everything would be returned to Jordan; some territorial adjustments would be required," but there must be "a mutuality in adjustments." Secretary of State Dean Rusk confirmed to Hussein that the US "would use its influence to obtain compensation to Jordan for any territory it was required to give up." Goldberg informed other Arab states "that the United States did not conceive of any substantial redrawing of the map." Israel's withdrawal would be "total except for minor adjustments," with compensation to Jordan for any such adjustments. Goldberg's assurances led the Arab states to agree to UN 242. Rusk confirmed to Neff that "We never contemplated any significant grant of territory to Israel as a result of the June 1967 war," but only "minor adjustments in the western frontier of the West Bank," "demilitarization measures in the Sinai and Golan Heights," and "a fresh look" at the status of Jerusalem. "Resolution 242 never contemplated the movement of any significant territories to Israel," Rusk stated.
It is commonly claimed that Goldberg and the US government rejected this interpretation of UN 242. Thus the New York Times alleges that the Israeli version, which permits Israel to incorporate unspecified parts of the conquered territories, is "supported" by Goldberg, citing later pro-Israel public statements, hardly relevant.30
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27 See particularly Shlaim, op. cit. Also Itamar Rabinovitch, The Road Not Taken (Oxford, 1991), 171.
28 Rabinovitch (Ibid., 108), asking whether Israel also missed such an opportunity when a Syrian proposal was rejected in 1949.
29 Noring and Smith, The Withdrawal Clause in UN Security Council Resolution 242 of 1967, Feb. 1978; Neff, Middle East International, 13 Sept. 1991.
30 Sabra Chatrand, NYT, Oct. 29, 1991. KEYWORDS terrorist democracy elections cia mossad bnd nsa covert operation 911 mi6 inside job what really happened wtc pentagon joint chiefs of staff jcs centcom laser hologram usa mi5 undercover agent female sex exploitation perception deception power anarchy green social democratic participation japanese spy black-op false flag gladio terror.Stumble It!