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Israel Caused Oslo to Fail?????????

Reader comment on item: [An Israeli] Withdrawal Won't Work

Submitted by Thomas Morris (United States), May 5, 2002

In regard to Mr. Cameron Parrett's "M.D." comments on how Israel caused Oslo to fail--"BUNK!" Mr. Parrett's comments typically echo the Arab jargon that tries to do away with Israel.

Let's start at the beginning of Mr. Parrett's M.D. argument about what Mr. Parrett refers to as the typical Arab jargon of "occupied territorries." Right from the start Mr. Parrett you are wrong Sir. Need I remind you that immediately after Israel was recognized by the UN in 1948 (and even before that when the land was partitioned by the British mandate) Arabs declared war on Israel and "have never stopped" since. Terrorism against Israel by Arabs has been a way of life for Israelis way before 1948.

Occupation you say Mr. Parrett? What occupation are you speaking of Sir? UN resolution 242 "does not make Israeli withdrawal a "prerequisite for Arab action." Moreover, it "does not specify how much territory Israel is required to give up." The Security Council did not say Israel "must withdraw" from "ALL" the territories occupied after the Six Day War. This was quite deliberate. The Soviet delegate wanted the inclusion of those words and said that their exclusion meant and I quote "that part of these territories can remain in Israeli hands." The Arab states pushed for the word "ALL." The British Ambassador who drafted the approved resolution, Lord Caradon, declared after the vote: It is only the resolution that will bind us, and we regard its wording as clear." This literal interpretation, without the implied "all", was repeatedly declared to be the correct one by those involved in drafting the resolution. On October 29, 1969, for example, the British Foreign Secretary told the House of Commons the withdrawal envisaged by the resolution would not be from "all the territories." When asked to explain the British position later, Lord Caradon said: "It would have been wrong to demand that Israel return to its positions of June 4, 1968, because those positions were undesirable and artificial. Similarly, ambassador Arthur Goldberg explained: "The notable omissions-which were "not accidental"-in regard to withdrawal are the words "the"or "all" and "the June 5, 1967 Lines"---the resolution speaks of withdrawal from occupied territories without defining the extent of withdrawal." The resolutions clearly call on the Arab states to make peace with Israel. The principal condition is that Israel withdraw from "territories occupied" in 1967, which means that Israel must withdraw from some, all, or none of the territories still occupied. "Since Israel has already withdrawn from 91% of the territories when it gave up the Sinai, it has already partially, if not wholly, fulfilled its obligation under resolution 242."

The Arab states, Mr. Parrett (M. D), also objected to the call for "secure and recognized boundaries" because they feared this implied negotiations with Israel. The anti Semitic Arab League explicitly ruled this out at Khartoum in August 1967, when it proclaimed the three "noes." US Ambassador Goldberg explained that this phrase was specifically included because the parties were expected to make "territorial adjustments in their peace settlement encompassing less than a complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from occupied territories, inasmuch as Israel's prior frontiers had proved to be notably insecure."

The question then as well as "NOW" Mr. Parrett, as you "well know" is whether Israel has to give up any "additional territory." Now that peace agreements have been signed with Egypt and Jordan, and Israel "has" already withdrawn to the international border with Lebanon, the only remaining territorial disputes are with the Palestinians (who are not even mentioned in resolution 242),and Syria. Let me say that again ,"the Palestinians are nowhere mentioned in Resolution 242."

Mr. Parrett (M. D.) you surely can not be aware of the fact that other Arab States that continue to maintain a state of war with Israel, or have refused to grant Israel diplomatic recognition, such as Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Libya have no territorial disputes with Israel. They have nevertheless conditioned their relations (at least rhetorically) on an Israeli withdrawal to the "pre- 1967 borders."

It was on November 22, 1967, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 242, establishing the principles that were to guide the negotiations for an Arab-Israeli peace settlement. This resolution was a tortuously negotiated compromise between competing proposals By examining what was "discarded" as well as the language that appears, it is possible to discern the Security Council’s intent.

The first point addressed by this resolution is the "inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war." Some people read 242 as though it ends here and the case for requiring a total Israeli withdrawal from the territories is proven. On the contrary, this clause does no such thing, because the reference clearly applies only to an "offensive war" Mr. Parrett (M. D.). If not, the resolution would provide an "incentive" for "aggression." If one country attacks another, and the defender repels the attack and acquires territory in the process, the former interpretation would require the defender to return the land it took. Thus, aggressors would have little to lose because they would be insured against the main consequence of defeat.

The ultimate goal of 242, as expressed in paragraph 3, is the achievement of a "peaceful and accepted settlement." This means a negotiated agreement based on the resolution’s principles rather than one imposed upon the parties. This is also the implication of Resolution 338, according to Arthur Goldberg, the American ambassador who led the delegation to the UN in 1967. That resolution, adopted after the 1973 war, called for negotiations between the parties to start immediately and concurrently with the cease fire. So disputed territories yes, "occupied territorries" NO Sir!

As far as Oslo itself Mr. Parrett (M. D.) you say and I quote "Oslo accords failed because Israel refuses to accept the concept of an independent and autonomous Palestinian state. Once again this is "BUNK" Mr. Parrett (M.D.)

Article XV of the Declaration of Principles from the 1993 Oslo accords states:

1. Disputes arising out of the application or interpretation of this Declaration of Principles, or any subsequent agreements pertaining to the interim period, shall be resolved by negotiations through the Joint Liaison Committee to be established pursuant to Article X above.

2. Disputes which cannot be settled by negotiations may be resolved by a mechanism of conciliation to be agreed upon by the parties.

3. The parties may agree to submit to arbitration disputes relating to the interim period, which cannot be settled through conciliation. To this end, upon the agreement of both parties, the parties will establish an Arbitration Committee.

That’s Article XV. Strange, I’ve read Article XV over and over, but I can’t find any references to rocks, riots, intifadas, suicide bombers, Kassam rockets, snipers, murder or lynching. Maybe it’s elsewhere. So I loaded the whole document into my word processor and did a search. Hmmm. "Suicide Bomber" never came up. Not even once. Neither did any of those other terms.

This means two things: 1. Israel never agreed to the use of terror to settle disputes, and 2. the Palestinians have breached the agreement. Obvious? But wait. It’s not so simple. The entire world seems to have missed this point.

Let’s go on. Not much of interest in the 1995 Interim Agreement. It’s mostly about elections, judicial processes, things that we in civilized countries take for granted and are probably superfluous in… oh wait, here’s something - Article XIV, paragraph 4. It says:

"Except for the arms, ammunition and equipment of the Palestinian Police described in Annex I, and those of the Israeli military forces, no organization, group or individual in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip shall manufacture, sell, acquire, possess, import or otherwise introduce into the West Bank or the Gaza Strip any firearms, ammunition, weapons, explosives, gunpowder or any related equipment, unless otherwise provided for in Annex I"

You can look it up or you can trust me. Annex I provides an overly liberal allowance for civilian pistols, but no nail studded bombs, rockets or grenades. Another breach? And here’s my favourite, Article XV titled "Prevention of Hostile Acts" (You’re not skeptical already, are you?):

"Both sides shall take all measures necessary in order to prevent acts of terrorism, crime and hostilities directed against each other, against individuals falling under the otherĀ“s authority and against their property and shall take legal measures against offenders."

Besides all of this arguing, "ALL of Israel" belongs to Israel more importantly by "divine right" Mr. Parrett (M. D.). Read the tanach or The Holy Bible.

End of story!


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