A history lesson for South America

A history lesson for South America

In a dangerous precedent last week, Argentina and Brazil recognized the state of Palestine based on the 1967 borders, while Chile, Colombia, Peru, Uruguay, and Paraguay have indicated their willingness to follow suit, according to Palestinian sources.

Such recognition, Israel argues, violates the 1995 Oslo interim agreement and the internationally backed Roadmap to Peace, which call for negotiated borders. We agree and join with Israel in calling on these countries to reverse their decision.

Not only does this recognition negate future negotiations on borders, it demonstrates a failure by the leadership of these countries to understand the history of the region.

What exactly are the June 4, 1967, borders that Argentina and Brazil recognize? Despite what the Palestinian leadership has tried to convince the world of for decades, no state of Palestine existed on June 4, 1967.

What existed on June 4 were temporary armistice lines between Israel, Egypt, and Jordan, which had been agreed to following the 1948 Independence War. The boundary between Israel and the west bank was not between Israel and Palestine, but between Israel and Jordan, which had annexed the west bank, including east Jerusalem. Likewise, the western line was between Israel and Egypt, which had taken Gaza as a protectorate. Neither Egypt nor Jordan showed any intention of creating an independent state of Palestine in either Gaza or the west bank.

When the United Nations passed Resolution 242 after Israel won those territories in the Six Day War, the U.S. ambassador, Arthur Goldberg, affirmed the resolution’s implication that Israel should not give up territory gained from the conflict without a negotiated treaty, nor should Israel be required to relinquish all of its spoils. The British U.N. ambassador, Lord Caradon, corroborated this interpretation.

To recognize a Palestinian state now on that territory is tantamount to creating facts on the ground, something the international community has long scolded Israel for because of its settlement enterprise. Such a decision will also inevitably harden the Palestinian position at the negotiating table, to which the P.A. has already been reluctant to return.

We not only urge these countries to reconsider this recognition, we urge the international community to reject it as well, for the sake of real negotiated peace in the Middle East.

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