B – “Israel’s ‘1967 Borders’”

What the media misleadingly calls “Israel’s 1967 Borders” are in reality just the 1949 military ceasefire lines (the “green line” because it was drawn with a green pen), expressly declared in their defining document not to be political borders, that brought to a halt the fighting between Israel and invading Transjordan in 1949. These perilous, 9-miles-wide in the critical middle opposite the Jordanian-seized high ground, ceasefire lines are no holier than, indeed were replaced and superseded by, the ceasefire lines of the subsequent 1967 fighting, again initiated by Jordan, in which Israel drove the Jordanian invaders back across the Jordan River, separating Jordan from western Palestine.

As the Jerusalem Post’s 1/10/15 “Words Matter” editorial properly pointed out, this so-called “green line” was “not an international border” but a 1949 ceasefire line that “ceased to exist” in 1967, “when the 19-year-old armistice was shattered by the armies of Jordan, Egypt and Syria attacking Israel.”

Israeli diplomat Abba Eban famously called the perilous 1949 ceasefire lines, ceding the high ground and 9-miles-wide in the critical middle, “Auschwitz lines.” Nonetheless, the Arabs and Western media refer to them as “Israel’s 1967 borders,” as if they were internationally agreed final borders to which Israel was obligated to return. E.g.:

Jerusalem Post (9/7/10), directly quoting Abbas: “‘If they demand concessions on the rights of the refugees or the 1967 borders, I will quit. I cannot allow myself to make even one concession,’ he said.”

The 1/11/14 Jerusalem Post 1/11/14 directly quoted Abbas: “We are asking for the 1967 borders.”

It’s one thing for Israel’s “peace partner” to disregard the plain language of the 1949 Armistice Agreement, another for the Western media to join in. E.g.”

*** A 1/20/14 Washington Post article dealt with a U.N.S.C. resolution that the Washington Post wrote called “for Israel to withdraw to its 1967 borders,” and that the resolution “said a final deal should be based on borders that existed before the 1967 war.” But what the resolution actually said was “borders based on 4 June 1967 lines with mutually agreed, limited, and equivalent land swaps.”

*** As commentator Elder of Ziyon pointed out, in January 2014 The New York Times pushed the “1967 borders” expression a step further, to “1967 borders with Palestine,” an expression it had not used before. Elder of Ziyon called “the 1967 borders with Palestine” to be “not an accident,” but the Times’ update of its “style rules to subtly push the lie that every inch beyond the 1949 armistice lines belongs to an entity, that is at least 47 years old, called ‘Palestine.’”

The following day, an Elder of Ziyon posting on Algemeiner observed that the NY Times had made one unacknowledged substantive correction to its Friday article: It now states that “Mr. Obama suggested that Israel’s pre-1967 borders [as opposed to the original “1967 borders with Palestine”] should be the starting point for peace negotiations.”

Elder of Ziyon : “It is still wrong, of course: they weren’t borders but 1949 armistice lines, never agreed to as borders by the international community, as UNSC 242 makes clear. But the NYT has erroneously referred to them as ‘borders’ for decades as I showed in my original piece.”

What President Obama had actually said, at the State Department on May 19, 2011, in a play on words on UNSC 242, was:

I believe the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both sides.

*** The Philadelphia Inquirer, for one, front-page headlined the next day, May 20, 2011: “Obama Maps a Peace Path; In a major speech, he said a starting point for Israeli-Palestinian talks should be the borders set before the 1967 war. Netanyahu criticized the idea.” [emphasis added]

Sometimes, though, historical reality seeps through. Elder of Ziyon’s blog posts included a photocopy of the top of a June 10, 1967, UPI news article quoting an Israeli minister on Israel’s just-won victory in the Six Day War. This news article directly quoted him using the term “the 1949 armistice agreement,” and indirectly that the just-ended war “had nullified the armistice agreements.” The article text’s own terms included “earlier frontiers … boundaries … the status quo before this happened,” but also once in the part of the article shown “previous borders.” In contradistinction to the NY Times reference to Israel’s “1949 borders with Palestine,” this June 10, 1967, article stated that Israel “may try to keep some Jordanian [emphasis added] territory.” The article’s headline was “Israel Rules Out Return to Frontiers.” [emphasis added]