Why It Matters Whether The 1967 Borders Are the Baseline for “Peace” Negotiations

Netanyahu said much that was good today during his speech before Congress. But there’s one issue that he didn’t quite nail, and I wish he would have.

Leave aside the fact that one should never have to “negotiate” for “peace,” where “peace” means that your neighbors stop attacking you without any justification. The point I made on my podcast on Sunday was that, even if both Obama and Netanyahu agree that the 1967 borders would not be the final result of any negotiations between Israel and the “Palestinians” (Obama referred to his use of the phrase “land swaps” as entailing this), it still makes all the difference whether the parties to the “negotiations” conceive of those borders as the baseline, as the starting point.

To say that those borders are, even implicitly, the starting point of the negotiations, is to concede something that couldn’t be further from the truth: the idea that Israel was not justified in taking the land it took during the Six-Day War. To accept the 1967 borders as a starting point is to deny that in 1967 Israel was fighting a proper war of self defense, that it took that land because doing so was necessary to eliminate the threat against its citizens’ lives, and that it was therefore justified in doing so.

Netanyahu nearly said that he rejected those borders as a starting point, when today he mentioned specific territories that must remain part of Israel. But he did not explicitly reject the idea of the 1967 borders as a starting point, only the idea that they would be an ending point. Perhaps not explicitly rejecting them as a starting point was just one of the many “generous concessions” Netanyahu is prepared to make for “peace.”

I think the 2011 borders should be both the starting point and the ending point. I wish Netanyahu agreed.

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “Why It Matters Whether The 1967 Borders Are the Baseline for “Peace” Negotiations

  1. And he also pulled this during his speech:

    “Militant Islam threatens the world. It threatens Islam.”

    *Islam* threatens the world, Islam IS “Militant Islam.”

    I suppose Geert Wilders will continue to be the great reproach to Western politicians, which is part of why they ignore him. I can’t think of One Western politician, outside of possibly Alan West, who comes anywhere near him when it comes to being honest about Islam. I disagree with Wilders claiming that Islam isn’t a religion, but outside of that, he’s dead on.

  2. Edmund Bonczyk II, $

    Thank you, Dr. Peikoff for your insight into this matter. Israel is America’s ally- there are times when I ponder upon it being our ONLY ally. Although I subscribe to Objectivist atheism, the beautiful Hebrew scripture still is potent and ethical to many faithful believers here and abroad. We should not discount it or the nation of its origination, Israel. If Mr. Obama and his administration do not see the difference between this historical nation and the mob of collectivists known as the PLO then he needs to take America out of world affairs and rethink his foreign policy. His presidential duties require that. Rhetorically I ask, did anyone think the secret PLO terrorist , Arafat, to be an honorable leader? Thank God he is no longer here. Most cordially-Edmund Bonczyk, $.

  3. Netanyahu is notorious for coming on like a hawk and then backing off. He also equivocates on key ethical points. He’s not above treating the so-called settlers as the enemy of peace as well. In short, he’s a post Camp David Israeli politician (thank you, Jimmy Carter).

    Since the first Lebanon war Israel has had a succession of leaders who completely give in to the language of the enemy and a European framing of all Arab-Israeli disputes. “Occupied territory,” “necessary concessions,” “peaceful Islam” and other nonsense pours from their mouths at regular intervals.

    Israel needs a leader to stand up and say to the world, “We took the territory from Jordan when she invaded Israel. We keep the territory as a necessary buffer against future invasions. We make no apologies to those who tried to attack us, and no concessions to those who suddenly declare they were the original inhabitants of the land.”

  4. Sean Clouser

    Nice read, Amy. Thanks.

  5. To me, the ending point is Palestine, since it is the source of the conflict. The ’67 borders are only the latest battle on the world stage. Meanwhile, on the Palestine/Israel stage, people are dying.

    You have three choices: the status-quo while improving Israeli defense, Israel annexes Palestine, or the West backs a Palestinian revolution which accepts the ’67 borders and recognizes Israel’s rights. Any way, it’s going to be bloody.

    For the latter two choices, the US should sell weapons to the parties and Israel/Revolutionaries should conduct ground operations. They would demilitarize Palestine, and consequently deport, imprison, execute, or pardon individuals in relation to their involvement in the Palestinian government. Top members of Hamas, for example, should be summarily executed, while a brainwashed 12 year old kid holding an AK-47 should be pardoned and placed under watch.

    The innocent inhabitants after the operation could be treated as dignified “immigrants” to Israeli or citizens of a safe Palestine, then invited to participate in the Western economy.

    Of course, one must wonder what Egypt would do with the military we’ve gifted them if this were to occur. Also to consider, Iranian nuclear missiles.

    Poor Israel – the borders are only the beginning.

  6. Joshua Neuman

    If any of you read Hebrew, there is an interesting book which reinterprets Israel in the period of the Judges and Kings Saul and David in an objectivist, egocentric light. The author was not directly influenced by Rand, but Objectivism clearly shines through in the book. If anyone is interested, I will send details. The book is not translated, so only someone with a strong command of Modern and Biblical Hebrew would be able to tackle it. By the way, I am a Fundamentalist Christian, but I admire Objectivism in many regards.

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