Friday, February 11, 2011

Is Israel in Violation of the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty?

The process that resulted in the March 26, 1979 Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty was long, though not by standards Palestinians, for instance, might seem particularly arduous or epic. Israel attacked Egypt on June 5, 1967, occupying all of Egyptian Sinai and forcing a long-term closure of the Suez Canal as one of many direct results. Then, just over six years later, on October 6, 1973, Egypt attacked Israel, seeking to reclaim their occupied territory and restore the Canal to normal use. Israel considers the Yom Kippur War of 1973 to have been their victory; Egypt considers it to have been theirs. People still fight over which side won at the war's Wikipedia article.

The preamble of the 1979 peace treaty reads, in part:

Convinced of the urgent necessity of the establishment of a just, comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East in accordance with Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338

It is interesting that the Israeli Government's web page devoted to the treaty shows a map of Israel clearly marking all of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights as part of Israel, without any sort of differentiation between these zones and what is generally regarded to be Israel proper - pre-1967 War Israel. The Egyptian government's page devoted to the treaty is currently down.
Security Council Resolution 242 is considered to be the originating document requiring Israel to relinquish its control, occupation and settlement of the West Bank and Gaza, and its original interpretation by everyone on the planet outside of the Israeli and (then) South African (apartheid) governments regarded all of the West Bank lands occupied in 1967 as just that - occupied. Soon after the adoption of UN Res. 242, - November 22, 1967, Dean Rusk, who was then U.S. Secretary of State, said:
There was much bickering over whether that resolution should say from "the" territories or from "all" territories. In the French version, which is equally authentic, it says withdrawal de territory, with de meaning "the." We wanted that to be left a little vague and subject to future negotiation because we thought the Israeli border along the West Bank could be "rationalized"; certain anomalies could easily be straightened out with some exchanges of territory, making a more sensible border for all parties. We also wanted to leave open demilitarization measures in the Sinai and the Golan Heights and take a fresh look at the old city of Jerusalem. But we never contemplated any significant grant of territory to Israel as a result of the June 1967 war. On that point we and the Israelis to this day remain sharply divided. This situation could lead to real trouble in the future. Although every President since Harry Truman has committed the United States to the security and independence of Israel, I'm not aware of any commitment the United States has made to assist Israel in retaining territories seized in the Six-Day War.

Since that time, many U.S. governments have sought to muddy the clarity of what 242 meant and means. How that reflects upon whether or not Israel is currently in violation of the Israel-Egypt pact has not been addressed by any of the many, many reports in the media about whether or not the incoming regime in Egypt might or might not honor it. It appears to be a moot point, as Israel is in very obvious violation of one of the most basic tenets of the pact and should therefore be seriously considered as having abandoned it already. The Palestine Papers clearly reveal that Israel has no leg to stand upon in defending their non-compliance with 242 and the peace pact itself.

As Rusk stated in 1967, regarding adherence to the spirit and letter of 242 and Israeli intransigence and outright deceptions, "[t]his situation could lead to real trouble in the future."


Anonymous said...

Does 242 call for withdrawal prior to the end of belligerency, peace and security and the acknowledgment of the sovereignty of Israel?

I always read them as interrelated.

Philip Munger said...

They are. But the Palestine Papers clearly show that the Israelis not only have gamed how the process works, but brag about how cynically they have managed to manipulate the way it gets played out as they continue to sieze the most productive Palestinian lands and water sources.

You Are Obsessed with what Israel does wrong said...

You are obsessed with this conflict and your anti-Israel bias is evident. You think you have a grasp of the entire situation but you don't understand it all from the Israeli point of view. In all of your writings, it is clear that you can't, don't or won't understand the REAL position the Israelis are in. I can only conclude you are an anti-Semite. You don't think you are, but your constant search for what Israel does wrong, says otherwise. Unbiased people are capable of seeing the impossible situation Israel is in. There is nothing they can do to really insure peace because the reality is they are surrounded by millions who do hate them, and want them gone and dead. If you can't conceive that, you are very naive. Even if they kept every treaty and gave the Palestinians complete 100% autonomy, it still would NEVER EVER be enough. Because that isn't what they really want. They want Israel to not exist. I think that is what you want as well. The liberals who are so anti-Israel have no idea how much they are alienating their fellow liberals who are Jewish. It is a serious issue.
I have watched your blog for a long time and again, can only conclude you are anti-Semitic. Why don't you just admit it. I don't see you analyzing and pointing out EVER the the things other middle east countries do. You search for every way to criticize Israel even when it is about other issues, like a recent court case.
If you search your heart and really aren't anti-Semitic, then you should take a hard look at your comments and posts in your blog and how they appear. You show zero understanding of the precarious position the Israelis are in and you find fault constantly with everything Israel does. You and others who have taken up this cause, yet falsely call themselves liberal and progressive, have no idea the amount of harm they are causing. You are increasing hatred towards Israel and Jews everywhere in the world.
If that's what you want, continue on with your obsession and never comment on the many many things that all other middle eastern countries do wrong.

Anonymous said...

Phil Munger won't be happy until the last Jew is raped and beheaded in Israel. On that day he'll be diddling all day long to one of his idiotic (what he calls music) cantatas.

Philip Munger said...

UR Obsessed....,

I answered a similar complaint to yours some time back with this article.

I suppose the article could use an update, especially the reference to the president's chief-of-staff, but it addresses most of your concerns.

Some of your contentions are patently false - that I pay no attention to the shortcomings of other countries, for instance.

Your equivalence of a nation and its successive racist governments with Judaism itself does far more toward "increasing hatred towards Israel and Jews everywhere in the world" than anything ever written here. Perhaps you could learn a bit from Albert Einstein's April 1938 statement:

"I should much rather see reasonable agreement with the Arabs on the basis of living together in peace than the creation of a Jewish State. Apart from practical considerations, my awareness of the essential nature of Judaism resists the idea of a Jewish State, with borders, an army, and a measure of temporal power, no matter how modest. I am afraid of the inner damage Judaism will sustain – especially from the development of a narrow nationalism within our own ranks, against which we have already had to fight strongly, even without a Jewish State. We are no longer the Jews of the Maccabee period. A return to a nation in the political sense of the word, would be equivalent to turning away from the spiritualization of our community which we owe to the genius of our prophets."

Makabit Bat Guriel said...

Phil, David Duke likes to quote Jews that he believes prove his point also. I'm still wondering how many times you and Carl Loerbs has gotten together for discussions on us trouble making Jews. Face it Phil you aren't even fooling yourself anymore.

sendlawyersgunsandmoney said...

I'll leave physics to Einstein, thank you.

Anonymous said...

Philip, if you think that manipulation started with what you read in those leaks or was limited to that stuff, I'm rather surprised.
This been little honesty by anyone in the long years since 242 passed.

However, my point in the first comment was that you're not going to be able to make a case that Israel is in violation of the treaty with Egypt by basing it on 242.

Philip Munger said...

anon @8:34 am - It's not up to me whether or not either party to the treaty is violating it, but a matter between Egypt and Israel. The treaty has benefitted both parties in many ways.

Anonymous said...

Oh, my mistake I guess. I had thought that when you said that Israel is in "very obvious violation" I had thought that you meant that Israel was in very obvious violation.

(sorry about the disturbed person thinking that you wouldn't be disgusted by the mass rape and beheading or any group. sad people in the world wrote things such as that)

Philip Munger said...

It devolves upon whether or not one thinks adherence to UN 242 is part of the treaty.

Regardless, I do feel the next Egyptian government will want to revisit the treaty.