Why talk about 1967 borders?

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  • #1
Hurkyl
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The title hopefully says it all. What's so special about the 1967 borders of Israel, as opposed to the 1948 borders or the 1979 borders or the 2011 borders?
 

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  • #2
AlephZero
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six-Day_War

To the parties involved, I think this issue is iconic to a degree that overrides all rational discussion.

(That doesn't make it unique. To an outside observer, the American Constitution seems to have a similar iconic and irrational status in some parts of the USA....)
 
  • #3
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I would ask when earliest the international laws (that still exist) were breached in regards to the borders.
 
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  • #4
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it's a religious war:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greater_Israel#State_of_Israel.2C_West_Bank.2C_and_Gaza_Strip

State of Israel, West Bank, and Gaza Strip

Currently in Israel, in the debate relating to the borders of Israel, "Greater Israel" is generally used to refer to the territory of the State of Israel and the Palestinian territories, the territory of the former British Mandate of Palestine. However, because of the controversial nature of the term, the term Land of Israel is used.

Joel Greenberg, writing in the New York Times notes; ‘At Israel's founding in 1948, the Labor Zionist leadership, which went on to govern Israel in its first three decades of independence, accepted a pragmatic partition of what had been British Palestine into independent Jewish and Arab states. The opposition Revisionist Zionists, who evolved into today's Likud party, sought Eretz Yisrael Ha-Shlema -- Greater Israel, or literally, the Whole Land of Israel.[1] The capture of the West Bank and Gaza Strip from Jordan and Egypt during the Six Day War in 1967, led to the growth of the non-parliamentary Movement for Greater Israel and the construction of Israeli settlements. The 1977 elections, which brought Likud to power also had considerable impact on acceptance and rejection of the term. Greenberg notes:

THE seed was sown in 1977, when Menachem Begin of Likud brought his party to power for the first time in a stunning election victory over Labor. A decade before, in the 1967 war, Israeli troops had in effect undone the partition accepted in 1948 by overrunning the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Ever since, Mr. Begin had preached undying loyalty to what he called Judea and Samaria (the West Bank lands) and promoted Jewish settlement there. But he did not annex the West Bank and Gaza to Israel after he took office, reflecting a recognition that absorbing the Palestinians could turn Israel into a binational state instead of a Jewish one.[1]
Yitzhak Shamir was a dedicated proponent of Greater Israel and as Israeli Prime Minister gave the settler movement funding and Israeli governmental legitimisation.[2]

Annexation of the Palestinian territories (the West Bank and Gaza Strip) is part of the platform of the Israeli Likud party, and of some other Israeli political parties.[3] On September 14, 2008 Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert remarked that "Greater Israel is over. There is no such thing. Anyone who talks that way is deluding themselves".[4]

The same territory, "from the river to the sea", is also claimed as Palestine by the PLO[5] and Hamas.[6]

Hillel Weiss, a professor at Bar-Ilan University, "preaches" the necessity of rebuilding the Temple and of Jewish rule over Greater Israel.[7][8][9] Rabbi Meir Kahane, assassinated Jewish leader and Knesset Member who founded the American Jewish Defense League and the Israeli Kach party worked towards this and other Religious Zionist goals.

and it involves systematic ethnic cleansing:

http://www.haaretz.com/print-editio...palestinians-1.360935?localLinksEnabled=false
 
  • #5
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The title hopefully says it all. What's so special about the 1967 borders of Israel, as opposed to the 1948 borders or the 1979 borders or the 2011 borders?
One reason is that the 1948 borders were considered legal according to the UN - who drew them. Territories gained after 1967’s Six Day War (West Bank, Gaza, Golan Heights, Sinia (given back to Egypt)) are considered illegal by the UN.
 
  • #6
mege
Without totally disolving Israel, the 1967 borders are the most contentions because they were taken in an agressive act. The 1948 borders don't really 'mix' the population of Israel like the post-1967 borders do. There are both Palestinians and Jews living in the region of contention so both lay claim to the area culturally. I am fully aware that Israel taking the territories was retalitory for a suprise assault by the Arab axis, and I feel that it justifys their presence a bit. Israel could have easilly continued counter-invading countries in the Middle East with their far superior military, but instead choose to take what they felt was rightly theirs, and stop. It's hard to define 'fairness' and legality of a situation when Israel was acted upon by other countries. I feel it's hypocritical to ignore the invasion of Israel and focus on the little bit of reparational war spoils they took.

All of the 'legality' of the issue aside (International Law, and the UN are all very grey areas anyhow), I feel that being punitive towards Israel is total pandering towards extremists like Hamas. Israel has been a beacon of light in the Middle East, and has put the Islamic countries to shame. In 50 years Israel is as much of a world power as any industrialized nation, can Egypt, Syria and Iran say that? The 1967 borders represent direct influence that Israel has over an area which was formerly controlled by an Arab country. I firmly believe that the residents of the contested area are better off under Israeli rule than under Palestinian rule. Do you really think Jews living in the West Bank will be treated fairly under Palestinian rule? If you can find one, ask what it's like being a Christian in Syria or Iran... then hope their Sharia-morality police weren't listening in on your coversation.

@Proton Soup - did you actually read the article you posted? 'Ethnic cleansing' by giving up their residency status for being out of the country for years is... a horrible thing? It's far from ethnic cleansing, instead it's good bookkeeping by a government that wants to make sure they're not being had by poor border protection policies. How many 'dead people' vote in the US each year? How many 'dead people' do you think cross the US's borders each year? Israel is just protecting themselves from that sort of fraud, unfortunately the policy may be a little slanted because more Palestinians travel for long periods of time, but nothing in the policy specifically calls out a cultural group.
 
  • #7
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All of the 'legality' of the issue aside (International Law, and the UN are all very grey areas anyhow), I feel that being punitive towards Israel is total pandering towards extremists like Hamas. Israel has been a beacon of light in the Middle East, and has put the Islamic countries to shame.
If you want to ignore International Law and the UN, I don't know on what basis you are calling Hamas extremists.

I also don't understand all of this beacon of light and "always right" Israel propaganda material.

For clarification, I am not defending Hamas but I think your approach here is irrational and heavily biased as is of Proton Soup.
 
  • #8
mege
If you want to ignore International Law and the UN, I don't know on what basis you are calling Hamas extremists.

I also don't understand all of this beacon of light and "always right" Israel propaganda material.

For clarification, I am not defending Hamas but I think your approach here is irrational and heavily biased as is of Proton Soup.
That paragraph taken in a vacuum, sure, but I overviewed why I felt that targeting Israel for border changes was being hypocritical regarding the situation earlier in my post. I feel this is esspecially true in the case of the 1967 borders when it seems that the conversation forgets WHY they have these territories now. Israel was attacked, retaliated, and expanded to a defensible position. My second paragraph, ignoring the international law, was meant to give a different perspective that has the same outcome. Even if Israel did break international law (ignoring the outcome of the law...), should the recourse really be to punish them or are there other meritous things to consider? (like Israel being ranked higher in freedoms than the surrounding countries). Technically that same international law should probably rule that the United States 'declared war' on Pakistan during the UBL raid - because of the gravity of the situation, though, I doubt much will come of it except some Pakistani officials complaining.

On the beacon of light: I see most other Middle Eastern countries as being very oppressed where Israel has a significant ammount of freedoms. They're not perfect by any stretch, but there is no systemic state discrimination against social groups like in Syria or Iran (where capital punishment isn't a big deal for say rejecting Islam). Would I prefer to live in Israel instead of the US? No, but would I prefer it to China, Iran, Egypt... absolutely. I think it's a contradiction in policy that we're willing to threaten sanctions on China for 'human rights violations' but yet turn a blind eye to the lack of gender and religious equality in Islamic states.

You can call me biased if you want, but I have zero personal stake in the matter except as a point of social pride in seeing another country with similar freedoms to our own be successful. Too often countries fall into cycles of hatred and dictatorships (see Egypt). I hope my short arguements are based in some rational decision (weither you agree or not...), as I do try to avoid any emotional entanglements. The only irrationality that I may present is exceptionalism of Judeo-Christian/Western culture (as opposed to Islamic/Arab culture in this case).
 
  • #9
Hurkyl
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but instead choose to take what they felt was rightly theirs, and stop.
If Israel was the one pushing that the borders of Israel be set at the 1967 borders, your post would make sense to me.

But I'm under the impression that the idea is others' and Israel rejects the idea, and your post really isn't obviously consistent with my understanding.


Are you trying to say that others have fully accepted Israel's claims to the 1967 borders, and that's why those particular borders keep coming up?
 
  • #10
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more on borders...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Likud" [Broken] is the party of Netanyahu and now leads Israel.

and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Likud#Charter" basically outlines the destruction of Palestine.
Charter

The 1999 Likud charter emphasizes the right of settlement.

"The Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza are the realization of Zionist values. Settlement of the land is a clear expression of the unassailable right of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel and constitutes an important asset in the defense of the vital interests of the State of Israel. The Likud will continue to strengthen and develop these communities and will prevent their uprooting."[11]

Similarly, they claim the Jordan River as the permanent eastern border to Israel and it also claims Jerusalem as belonging to Israel.

"Jerusalem is the eternal, united capital of the State of Israel and only of Israel. The government will flatly reject Palestinian proposals to divide Jerusalem, including the plan to divide the city presented to the Knesset by the Arab factions and supported by many members of Labor and Meretz."[12]

The 'Peace & Security' chapter of the 1999 Likud Party platform rejects a Palestinian state.

"The Government of Israel flatly rejects the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan river. The Palestinians can run their lives freely in the framework of self-rule, but not as an independent and sovereign state. Thus, for example, in matters of foreign affairs, security, immigration and ecology, their activity shall be limited in accordance with imperatives of Israel’s existence, security and national needs."[11]

With Likud back in power, starting in 2009, Israeli foreign policy is still under review. Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu, in his "National Security" platform, neither endorsed nor ruled out the idea of a Palestinian state.[13] "Netanyahu has hinted that he does not oppose the creation of a Palestinian state, but aides say he must move cautiously because his religious-nationalist coalition partners refuse to give away land."[14]

In June 2009 Netanyahu outlined his conditions for the eventual creation of a Palestinian state, including the state being demilitarized, without an army or control of their airspace.[15]
as you can see, the jordan river completely cuts off any hope of a free palestine under likud, because likud says this land is israel.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:JordanRiver_en.svg

this of course brings into question the idea of not wanting to deal with hamas if they are active in the palestinian government. one would likewise have to reject an israeli government that involves likud.
 
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  • #11
Hurkyl
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I apologise to Hurkyl in advance for not answering your question! Instead I’d like to address some points made by Mege.
Hey! I started this thread so I can get an answer to a question. If you want to discuss something else, then take it to another thread, and stop derailing mine!
 
  • #12
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This thread has gotten way off topic, posts have been removed. Time to give this a rest. Hurkyl, you can reopen if you are still looking for an answer.
 
  • #13
Hurkyl
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The off-topic discussion has been moved here.

I actually want to hear an answer to my question! Why do people keep talking about the 1967 borders? I'm also interested in hearing other borders too, and the motivations for those.

I'm not interested in any debate on the merits of any particular position on the topic, or commentary on the positions associated to those borders. Side discussions on these issues should be started in new threads before they drown out this one.
 
  • #14
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Israel gained a lot of territory in the 1967 six-day war. The focus on the 1967 borders is about undoing that.

The 1949 borders have two problems - Gaza is Egyptian, and recognizing the 1949 borders is tantamount to recognizing the process that created them, which one side of the conflict would prefer not to do.
 
  • #15
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this is long, but a good read. lots of interesting details like the provocations admitted by http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moshe_Dayan#Six_Day_War_.281967.29".

http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/finkelstein-on-the-june-1967-war/ [Broken]

and the '67 war basically just took previous border disputes off the table.

One issue was the borders. Israel was awarded 56% of Palestine under the UN Partition resolution. By the end of the first Arab-Israeli War in 1949 they had about 80% of Palestine. So there was an issue of it having to return to those Partition borders.

And the second big question was the refugees. The 750,000 Palestinians who’d been expelled in 1948 and the question of how to resolve that question. And Israel didn’t want to take back the Palestinian refugees.

And so now you have after ‘67. What you can say with a certain amount of accuracy, I think it was very well put by Shlomo Ben-Ami, Israel’s former Foreign Minister, in his book Scars of War, Wounds of Peace, he said in June 1967 — and it’s your listners, I think it’s worth pondering — “in June ‘67 we won the ‘48 borders.” That is to say after June ‘67 there was no longer any talk about returning to the Partition Plan, “we won the borders.”
 
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  • #16
tiny-tim
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The title hopefully says it all. What's so special about the 1967 borders of Israel, as opposed to the 1948 borders or the 1979 borders or the 2011 borders?
Without totally disolving Israel, the 1967 borders are the most contentions because they were taken in an agressive act. The 1948 borders don't really 'mix' the population of Israel like the post-1967 borders do …
This is very confused terminology. :redface:

The post-1967 borders include Gaza the West Bank and the Golan Heights.

When people talk about the "1967 borders", they always mean pre-1967, ie the same as 1949 (or is it 1948?).

(I think that the only reason "1967" is used is because nobody is sure whether 1948 or 1949 is the correct start-date, and "1948" anyway would cause confusion with the "1947 borders", which of course are the original United Nations partition line, but which could also be called the "1948 borders", since they were the borders when Israel declared independence in June 1948.)
… Are you trying to say that others have fully accepted Israel's claims to the 1967 borders, and that's why those particular borders keep coming up?
The 1949-1967 borders are recognised internationally as Israel's borders (except for West Jerusalem, which has never been recognised internationally as part of Israel, which is why virtually all the embassies are in Tel Aviv not West Jerusalem).
I actually want to hear an answer to my question! Why do people keep talking about the 1967 borders? I'm also interested in hearing other borders too, and the motivations for those.

I'm not interested in any debate on the merits of any particular position on the topic, or commentary on the positions associated to those borders. Side discussions on these issues should be started in new threads before they drown out this one.
Talks have to start from somewhere, and the status quo is the obvious place to start.

The other place to start is what some people call "facts on the ground" … ie, start again and draw the border now on the same demographic (population) principles as in 1947, transferring some West Bank settlements to Israel, and some primarily Arab areas in the Galilee to Palestine (as particularly advocated by Lieberman, and often wrongly described as "ethnic cleansing").

(Probably with equal areas being transferred in opposite directions, as compared with the 1967 borders … because of this equal-areas principle, this can also be called a policy "based on the 1967 borders!" :rolleyes: … confusing, isn't it? :smile:).

btw, the Negev desert (that triangle pointing down to Eilat) would remain Israeli under this principle, since the Bedouin fought on the Israeli side in the War of Independence, and now form a substantial part of the Israeli army, particularly on the Gaza border.

Israeli policy (of nearly all parties), and USA policy before Obama, was to start from "facts on the ground".

The recent disagreement between Obama and Netanyahu is because it looked as if Obama was abandoning that policy (though he could just be emphasising the equal-areas principle) …

it is still very unclear what his position is. :rolleyes:
 

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