What Exactly are the 1967 Borders?

I get the impression that a lot of people don't even know what "the 1967 borders" are or why they tend to be considered the logical point of departure for any type of peace negotiations.

I will confess that I suffer from educator’s disease—i.e., the notion that, at a minimum, more information is a good in and of itself and that, hopefully, more information leads to a better quality of discourse.

I get the impression that a lot of people don’t even know what “the 1967 borders” are or why they tend to be considered the logical point of departure for any type of peace negotiations.

Now, granted, more knowledge does not necessarily dictate a particular opinion on the situation, but it strikes me as a good thing regardless of anything else.

So, here we go:

Since Israel has already withdrawn from the Gaza Strip, the issue at hand is the West Bank:

 

Source:  CIA.

Here’s the 1949-1967 border:

image

Here are the borders from 1967-1979:

image

And then the border after the peace accord with Egypt:

image

Source for maps:  click.

Now, according to the CIA World Factbook, the population of the West Bank is 2.6 million, with ~300,000 of whom being Israeli settlers in the West Bank itself and ~190,000 in East Jerusalem.  In general, the Factbook places the ethnic breakdown at 83% Palestinian Arab and 17% Jewish.  And, of course, one of the reason that settlements in the West Bank are controversial, and even considered provocative by some, is because said settlement increase Israeli claims on the West Bank, making a final settlement all the more complicated.  It is also because of these settlements that the issue of land swaps are raised.  There is also the whole problem of East Jerusalem.

At any rate, in terms of the basics:  the reason why it might be considered proper for the territory in question to form the bulk of a Palestinian state is because it is territory primarily inhabited by Palestinian Arabs and contains Palestinian cities, like Ramallah (a city of over 27,000).    In other words:  the Palestinians are already there.  They can either continue to be part of an occupied territory (sort of a no-man’s land state-wise), they can be made part of Israel proper (this seems rather unlikely in the extreme), or they can be made part of a Palestinian state.   Of course, in theory, they could be forcibly removed, but moving over two and half million people would be highly difficult and costly (and I am unaware of anyone who wants to do that).

This is not, as I have seen analogized, giving Manhattan back to Native American tribes or returning the Southwest to Mexico.  This is about territory where the people who claim it currently live.

As such, it is why, to quote from a post of mine from yesterday (which quoted a WaPo column):

“What did Obama say?” wrote Ofer Shelah, a columnist in the Maariv newspaper. “That any agreement with the Palestinians, if and when it is signed, must be based on the 1967 lines with border adjustments. Is there any Israeli or Palestinian who doesn’t know that this is what will happen? It’s the only game in town.

The reason for this, again, is that the Palestinians tend to live in areas contained by the pre-1967 lines (i.e., in the Gaza Strip or in the West Bank).   As such, where else is a Palestinian state going to be?   And don’t tell me that some Arab country should donate land for a New Palestine, as some Americans like to suggest, because it is a nonsensical assertion.  Even if such land were donated, how are over 4 million Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip and West Bank going to relocate there and why would they want to do so?  And that doesn’t even  get into questions of infrastructure, economy and the like.

No, the basic answer is clear:  any peace settlement will have to start with the basics of 1967 borders because, again, that’s where the relevant people are already located.  It does make statements like “throwing Israel under the bus” or asking Israel to “commit suicide” seem disconnected to reality, to be honest.  Indeed, if this is what people think, I would be interested in what the alternative would be/what they would do with the over two million Palestinians in the West Bank.

Now, none of this means it will actually happen (and it clearly is not easy), but the logic of the situation is quite clear.  And, of course, one has to understand that complications that arise from the settlement situation, as the following map should make clear:

INSERT DESCRIPTION

For more on that map, see:  The West Bank Archipelago

None of this is easy (which may be the biggest understatement of my blogging career).  However, the lack of easiness doesn’t change the basic facts of the ground in terms of what territories we are talking about.

This is, of course, why, former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert spoke of the 1967 borders, and why the former chief of staff of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon did as well.  It is also why a joint statement of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Prime Minister Benajmin Netanyahu issued a joint statement last November that stated the following:

The Prime Minister and the Secretary agreed on the importance of continuing direct negotiations to achieve our goals. The Secretary reiterated that “the United States believes that through good-faith negotiations, the parties can mutually agree on an outcome which ends the conflict and reconciles the Palestinian goal of an independent and viable state, based on the 1967 lines, with agreed swaps, and the Israeli goal of a Jewish state with secure and recognized borders that reflect subsequent developments and meet Israeli security requirements.” Those requirements will be fully taken into account in any future peace agreement.

To conclude, again I would ask:  what it is the people think is being talked about when a two state solution is raised if not something based on the Gaza Strip and the West Bank (otherwise known as  something approximating the 1967 borders)?

FILED UNDER: Middle East, Politics 101, US Politics, World Politics
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. Southern Hoosier says:

    The number of Palestinian refugees by country according to UNRWA in January 2010 were as follows:

    Jordan 1,983,733
    Lebanon 425,640
    Syria 472,109

    And these Palestinian refuges will be demanding the right of return.

  2. John Burgess says:

    The problem of ‘right of return’ is a negotiable one. It can be resolve, most likely, with cash payments to those deprived of the right. I suggest that the billions going currently to Israel and Egypt could be better used in making these payments. The Arab oil states could kick in, too, so that each of the disposessed received in the area of $100K.

    This cash would greatly reduce the reluctance of Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon to accept the refugees as legitimate immigrants. It would also deprive those states of a handy political tool to turn to when seeking to drum up support for their own actions/inactions.

  3. As Tony Soprano said, “there has to be consequences.” Otherwise Israel’s border states may be tempted to try and wipe Israel off the map once again. I mean, it’s not like I’m putting words in their mouths.

    Saying “go back to the 1967 borders” fundamentally ignores why the borders changed in 1967. And yes, I agree that Obama wasn’t exactly breaking any new ground. The borders of all the Middle East states are extremely arbitrary relics and not fashioned by natural boundaries or even populations. Ultimately, as Netanyahu said, Israel is ready to live aside a Palestinian state (whatever form that may take) whereas most of its neighbors remain committed to seeing Israel removed from the face of the earth.

  4. Your fundamental error is in using the word “borders” to describe the pre-1967 lines. Israel has never enjoyed actual borders with any country. The so-called pre-1967 lines were actually drawn in 1949 as ceasefire lines of Israel’s war for existence, and that’s all they ever were.

    See my post explaining at Sense of Events.

  5. @Donald:

    I take the semantical point, but it doesn’t obviate the basic point.

  6. steve says:

    “And these Palestinian refuges will be demanding the right of return.”

    This is not really on the table. No one thinks it will happen.

    “Ultimately, as Netanyahu said, Israel is ready to live aside a Palestinian state (whatever form that may take) whereas most of its neighbors remain committed to seeing Israel removed from the face of the earth.”

    Not Egypt or Jordan. Syria could be mollified. Lebanon is no real threat. Iran would be difficult to convince, but it is not really a neighbor. At any rate, it is also why one of the conditions for having a Palestinian state is the recognition of the right of Israel to exist. It was in the speech.

    I think there is relatively little evidence that Netanyahu is ready to live next to a Palestinian state. The members of his coalition seem to be seeking a single state solution. They want all of the West Bank.

    Steve

  7. michael reynolds says:

    I am shocked, Steven, shocked at your suggestion that people might have extremely strong opinions about the Israeli-Palestinian issue and yet have no idea what the hell they’re talking about.

    Shocked.

  8. Jay Tea says:

    Here’s a question: why is it Israel is expected to not only allow Palestinians within their territories but accord them full citizenship rights, but the Palestinians are allowed to demand that their lands be rendered completely Judenrein — “cleansed of Jews?”

    A blogger I rather like refers to such incidents as “Jewish Double Standard Time.”

    J.

  9. @Michael:

    I do my best to be as controversial a blogger as possible.

  10. @Jay:

    The problem with such statements is that they do not exist in the context of an actual negotiation, and hence really aren’t of much value (and don’t prove anything one way or another). A lot of people on various sides of the issue have said a lot of things, but at this point, it’s just talk.

    A man involved in a divorce can pop off to his friends that “she’ll never see a red cent” but who cares what he says, as it is the judge’s ruling that will matter.

  11. Steven, it is not a “semantical point.” It strikes to the heart of whether Israel can survive.

  12. Wayne says:

    The confusion isn’t so much on wither it should be roughly base on the 1967 borders but wither it should be the starting point of negotiations. It is subtle but big difference.

    One scenario of the negotiations starting off with what Israel has now then giving up much of the West bank (1967 borders) but none of Jerusalem. Also for security reasons certain strips are not negotiable. Of course there will be some disagreement and can be attempted to be resolved with land swaps from this points.

    This is very different than

    The second scenario of the negotiations starting off with borders as they were prior to 1967 including Jerusalem and any land that the Israeli wants otherwise must be swapped for by other strips of Israeli land they had prior to 1967.

    Perhaps Obama meant the first and not the later but I for one took it as the later. I am still not sure that he didn’t mean the later. Why shouldn’t he clarify what he meant?

  13. @Donald:

    No, it does not. You can substitute the word :”lines” or “boundaries” for “borders” if you prefer, but it doesn’t change the basics.

    Further, I do not think that Israel faces an actual existential threat. And, further, think that settling the Palestinian state question will help it achieve better relations with its neighbors, not worse.

  14. Why shouldn’t he clarify what he meant?

    I am a big fan of clarification.

  15. michael reynolds says:

    It is no longer 1948 or even 1967. Warfare has changed. The notion that the Arabs can mass tanks at the border and cut Israel in half with a blitzkrieg is simply nonsensical. Satellite surveillance, Israel’s absolute air superiority and smart weapons have fundamentally altered the military equation.

    The threat is from missiles, not tanks. Missiles already exist which can reach any part of Israel from any number of places in the Arab world. Why aren’t the Egyptians firing them from Sinai? Why isn’t Jordan firing them? Because there’s a peace agreement in place and neither nation wants to face Israeli retaliation.

    The so-called defensible borders rhetoric is militarily dishonest. The world has changed, warfare has changed.

  16. anjin-san says:

    whereas most of its neighbors remain committed to seeing Israel removed from the face of the earth

    Can you provide something to support this beyond “because I say so”, or “because the far right here and in Israel says so? It has been almost 40 years since Arab states took a shot at Israel that created an existential threat. Israel has seriously kicked their asses before, and will do so again if necessary, and they know it. And if it happens again there is no Soviet Union for Arab leaders to turn to for political cover as the are being routed in the field.

    Arab leaders have enough worries these days without having the fallout from being humiliated in battle to add to the mix. Does anyone seriously think Arab generals are anxious, or even willing to tangle with the IDF and their US supplied arsenals?

    Talk about the destruction of Israel by Arab leaders is more for domestic political consumption these days. It serves a purpose, just as keeping the Palestinian wound bleeding does.

    It’s basically a bait and switch that Arab despots are pulling on their own people. Pay more attention to Israel and Palestine, and less to how you are getting screwed at home. As events this year have shown us, it ain’t really working any more. The right in Israel is playing their own version of the game – sadly, some are falling for it right here in the USA.

  17. ponce says:

    The threat is from missiles, not tanks.

    My money is on Israel ending with a nuke going off in Tel Aviv…most likely in the back of a truck.

  18. anjin-san says:

    My money is on Israel ending with a nuke going off in Tel Aviv…most likely in the back of a truck.

    A good reason to try to break the endless cycle of hate…

  19. mannning says:

    Militarily, the scenario where a massed Arab armored force thrusts into Israel to cut it in half and then to defeat each half in detail is most certainly not nonsensical if they proceed as the Egyptians did in 73. The key to Egypt’s success in the first phase of that war was to keep their ground forces under the cover of their anti-air missiles. The Syrians initially did the same with some success. The Israelis lost over 50 planes in this initial phase trying to repel the Egyptians.(All told, the Israelis lost 102 aircraft in the war, most to anti-air missiles.) Given sufficient numbers of mobile AA Missile and gun systems to keep up with the advance of the armor, the IAF wouild be very hard pressed to fly multiple sortes into those AA weapons. Newer versions of the Russian SA Systems would be quite effective also. The IAF low-level tactic used in the Bekaa Valley would not succeed against later versions of ZSU-23-4 radar/optical/TV directed gun systems. It would be up to Arab training in tank and anti-tank warfare, gunnery and artillery to match the Israeli capabilities before them, which is not an impossible task given a few years. Of course, the Russians would be the suppliers of most of the weapons, including later- developed tanks with better armor and longer-range guns, anti-tank missiles, and training help. Missiles used as artillery would rain down on Israel, but to win, the Arabs must put ground forces all the way into Israel.

    As is ever the case, the Arab ability to mass their forces and initiate the attack with surprise, before very many of the Israeli brigades have a chance to assemble, is the key. The Egyptians did it rather well in 73, but today, it would be much more difficult, but not a total impossibility. Satellite surveillance systems, for one thing, can be fooled simply by not moving around and staying under cover when their known orbits have them pass overhead. Training exercises can mask assemblies as well, and so on. The Arab bag of tricks is not empty at all. Then, too, in the 73 war, the allied Arab forces from Syria, Iraq and Jordan and other nations were not well trained, nor were they well led and coordinated with the Egyptians, nor were their logistics worked out at all. These lessons were not lost on the Arab world. Next time maybe they would improve in these areas.

    To the Arab nations, defeating Israel is not nonsensical at all, as the number of tries they have made attest.

  20. michael reynolds says:

    Manning:

    Yes, if everything was different than it really is, then it would be different.

    But in the modern era there is precisely zero chance of pulling off a surprise tank attack. The idea that those tanks could be massed in the West Bank or Jordan — the only relevant starting points in a discussion of the West Bank as a buffer — is ludicrous. You couldn’t hide two jeeps and a camel.

  21. anjin-san says:

    To the Arab nations, defeating Israel is not nonsensical at all, as the number of tries they have made attest.

    38 years since the last try. A long time, and a very different political landscape in the Arab world. Egypt seems to completely have lost its appetite for war with Israel, and Egypt is still the heart of the Arab world.

    These lessons were not lost on the Arab world

    Nor was the lesson that Israel has a nasty habit of kicking the crap out of the Arabs when it comes to a fight. Only turning to the Soviet Union for a political bailout saved the Arabs from a much worse defeat in ’73. They know that is not an option today.

  22. Jay Tea says:

    Steven, not to be a stick-in-the-mud, but the word “contiguous” is not the sort of word one says by accident in place of another word. And the only context here where it makes any sense is if it’s strictly limited to the West Bank, and excludes Gaza — something that I think makes a bit of sense, but not likely to ever actually happen. Unless “contiguous” is double-secret code speech for “create a Palestinian homeland in the West Bank, and ignore Gaza,” it’s a really, really, really bad word to use.

    anjin, I’ll go slow here.

    1) Hamas is the legally elected governing party of Gaza.

    2) Hamas and the Palestinian Authority have just come to a tentative agreement on cooperation.

    3) The Hamas Charter contains the following passages:

    “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.”

    “The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Muslim generations until Judgement Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up. ”

    “There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors.”

    “After Palestine, the Zionists aspire to expand from the Nile to the Euphrates. When they will have digested the region they overtook, they will aspire to further expansion, and so on. Their plan is embodied in the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion”, and their present conduct is the best proof of what we are saying.”

    Moreover, if the links have been distant from each other and if obstacles, placed by those who are the lackeys of Zionism in the way of the fighters obstructed the continuation of the struggle, the Islamic Resistance Movement aspires to the realisation of Allah’s promise, no matter how long that should take. The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation, has said:

    “The Day of Judgement will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Muslims, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. Only the Gharkad tree, would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews.” (related by al-Bukhari and Muslim).

    That is from the Charter of Hamas, the duly elected and legal government of Gaza.

    And when I say “wipe Israel off the map,” I mean that quite literally.

    J.

  23. James Joyner says:

    I’ve argued for years that the only solution is the 1967 borders PLUS donated land from Jordan,
    Lebanon, and Syria. Given that Israel itself is tiny and that the parts being proposed for Palestinian sovereignty are a sliver–and that 2 million Palestinians live contiguously in those three states–I don’t see how we create a viable Palestinian state otherwise. It just makes sense to create a Palestinian nation-state where a right of return could work and that’s large enough to be economically viable.

  24. steve says:

    Manning-You need to read van Creveld. There is very limited access from the Jordan into the West Bank. Those few roads could be taken out pretty easily. One assumes they are pre-targeted. Also, in 1973 the US was not as committed as we are now. Israel and its lobby has done a good job of promoting itself so that Israel is now considered our number one ally, for some reason.

    Steve

  25. Jay Tea says:

    James, interesting theory. Golan Heights, Shab’a Farms, and a slice of Jordan? Makes sense, especially since Jordan was supposed to be the Palestinian state.

    But it falls apart when subjected to reality. The Arab world has no interest in helping the Palestinians; they like having them as an open wound to cudgel Israel. That’s why Palestinians aren’t eligible for citizenship in most Arab nations. That’s why they LIKE keeping them in camps and whatnot, awaiting their “return” that’s been promised since 1948 and ain’t ever coming. And Jordan will never forget the PLO attempting a coup back in 1970.

    You’ve offered a most sensible, reasonable, and fair solution. Naturally, it’s doomed.

    J.

  26. Any guesses as to what might have happened in 1973 had Israel not acted in 1967?

    The willingness, if not outright desire, to discount the hatred of Israel in particular, and Jews in general, in the Middle East and much of Europe is really remarkable.

    Oh, come on, they don’t really mean it.

    It’s just a negotiating ploy.

    The world is different now.

  27. The world is different now.

    Indeed, it is quite different insofar as the US is no longer shy about using military force in the Middle East. And make no mistake, if there ever was an attempt at a major war against Israel, the US would get involved. This Is a rather key factor.

    Despite a lot of rhetoric from various quarters, Israel’s continued existence is not on doubt.

  28. anjin-san says:

    The willingness, if not outright desire, to discount the hatred of Israel in particular, and Jews in general, in the Middle East and much of Europe is really remarkable.

    Can you show where anyone said the hate is not real? I missed that part. Guess you just sort of made it up.

  29. Michael Reynolds, Syria, Egypt and Jordan made little effort to hide the massing of their forces on Israel’s border in 1973. The stationed their forces there almost monthly as I recall and then had them stand down, except the one time they told them to go the other way. Israel knew all about the forces on their border and just thought it was another exercise. So, it isn’t about hiding the forces. When the US initiated Operation Desert Storm, it wasn’t as though Saddam didn’t know exactly what forces the US deployed and where. Well, the individual F-117 and B-2 runs and the timing of the arrival of the various cruise missiles weren’t announced, as such, but hiding or deception is possible on only the smallest of missions now wi, but that doesn’t seem to have stopped many wars.

    anjin-san, did I say I was talking to you, like I am now? You do seem awfully sensitive about though, why is that?

  30. anjin-san says:

    Charles, I said –

    Can you show where anyone said the hate is not real? I missed that part

    Read much?

    But the fact that you infer people are anti-semites in such a chickenshit manner is noted.

  31. @Charles:

    The problem with 1973 comparisons is that that was almost 40 years ago and not only has war fighting changed, but the entire international system has changed.

    It doesn’t make for a compelling argument to say how things went down in early 1970s.

  32. Wayne says:

    The current administration sure hasn’t seemed that friendly to Israel. There is no guarantee that U.S. would come to Israel aid. We didn’t put us troops or air support in there before. We didn’t help with the fluid of protestors there recently. With all these other wars going on and quite possibly future ones, it would be foolish for Israel to bet their lives and their country existence on the U.S. and\or international community getting involved in a future war there.

  33. @Wayne:

    Could you cite a specific example of Obama not being “friendly to Israel”?

    And if you mean the pre-1967 boundary question, then you think that GW Bush was unfriendly as well.

  34. anjin-san says:

    We didn’t help with the fluid of protestors there recently.

    WTF are you talking about? Should we land Marines in Israel because they are having protests?
    This is one notch above gibberish.

  35. michael reynolds says:

    I actually like the phrase “fluid of protestors.” It could be a thing. Like an army of ants or a murder of crow. A fluid of protesters.

  36. Dr. Taylor, you have more faith in the malleability of human nature than I, especially that it is moving in a positive direction.

  37. @Charles:

    Dr. Taylor, you have more faith in the malleability of human nature than I, especially that it is moving in a positive direction.

    You frequently fall back on human nature in these thread, but I must confess it comes across as a dodge. What did I say that speaks to the question of “the malleability of human nature”?

    Are you going to deny that the Cold War is over?

    Are you going to tell me that the international system is that same now as it was in 1973?

  38. A semantical point, but I feel like most interested people do indeed know what is meant by pre-1967 borders and that is why there has been a faux controversy over President Obama’s statements.

  39. anjin-san says:

    Charles – still waiting for you to show even a single example from this thread where anyone claimed that hatred for Israel or Jews is “discounted”. Put up, or shut up.

    Or perhaps you could join a fluid of protestors…

  40. ponce says:

    With Obama’s approval rating hitting a year and a half high 53% today on Gallup, I guess it pays for him to kick a little fringe right Israeli arse once in a while.

  41. Steve Verdon says:

    I actually like the phrase “fluid of protestors.” It could be a thing. Like an army of ants or a murder of crow. A fluid of protesters.

    Heh, yeah it does kind of seem to work.

  42. mattt says:

    Late here, but thanks for the post. You should have included one more map, near the top, showing Israel and Palestine as originally constituted. It’s important to recall that accepting the 1967 borders is already to accept an expansion of Israel beyond the original partition plan:
    Israel and Palestine, 1947

  43. anjin-san says:

    Charles – still waiting for you to show even a single example from this thread where anyone claimed that hatred for Israel or Jews is “discounted”. Put up, or shut up.

    Hmmm. I was not clear in my meaning. I am still waiting for you to show where anyone in this thread “discounted” hatred for Jews, in the middle east or in europe.

    There is a phrase for being cognizant of the changes in the political and military topography of the middle east since 1973. It’s called “being informed”. Simply because one is not willing to see U.S. foreign policy being driven from lukid party headquarters, it does not necessarily follow that they do not support Israel, do not have sympathy for Jews, and are not aware of the unique nature of various pogroms that have been waged against the Jewish people.

  44. mannning says:

    I seem to remember one Neville Chamberlin declaring that his piece of paper would give us “Peace in our time!” There are always a thousand reasons that there will not be a war, but it only takes one reason for war to happen, and it does happen, all too often. Silly Chamberlin!

  45. anjin-san says:

    Neville Chamberlin

    Exhuming Chamberlin is so tired and trite that is is far beyond being simply a lame cliche. Is anyone claiming to have a magic key to peace in the middle east here? How is Chamberlin relevant to the discussion?

  46. Southern Hoosier says:

    michael reynolds says: Tuesday, May 24, 2011 at 21:20

    The threat is from missiles, not tanks. Missiles already exist which can reach any part of Israel from any number of places in the Arab world. Why aren’t the Egyptians firing them from Sinai? Why isn’t Jordan firing them? Because there’s a peace agreement in place and neither nation wants to face Israeli retaliation.

    I don’t think it’s any peace agreement that is responsible for the peace. But I agree it is Israeli retaliation that is keeping the peace. The word is M.A.D., Mutual Assured Destruction. You hit my cities and we hit yours even harder. The problem is M.A.D. only works with rational beings and it is only a matter of time before an irrational being takes over one of the governments.

  47. @SH:

    MAD only works with nukes between countries. It doesn’t work in normal warfare (where total destruction is not the goal) and it especially doesn’t work with asymmetric warfare.

    You hit me, I hit you back harder is not MAD.

  48. Southern Hoosier says:

    I stand corrected. Doesn’t Israel have nuclear weapons? And if so, at what point would they use them?

  49. Nukes could deter a conventional attack, but that wouldn’t be MAD, but rather basic deterrence.

    MAD assumes that if you destroy me, I will destroy you too, so there is no point in launching your attack in the first place.

  50. Southern Hoosier says:

    Doesn’t Israel have nuclear weapons? And if so, at what point do you think they would they use them?

  51. ponce says:

    Doesn’t Israel have nuclear weapons?

    If it does, they haven’t been tested in 50 years.

  52. anjin-san says:

    SH… why don’t you spend the next few years studying, fill in some of the blanks, then come back for a chat? Arrogant & ignorant is a very bad combination.

  53. Wayne says:

    @Steven
    Obama often bashes Israel while giving the Palestinians a pass. He often takes opportunities to condemn and offend Israel and is often wrong in his criticism. He has even condemn them for building new apartments is Jerusalem. Stating for political reason that you support someone then taking many opportunities to bash and undercut them is not supporting them.

    Here are three articles and there are many more out there.

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/11/barack_obama_the_most_antiisra.html

    http://foro.univision.com/t5/WQBA-1140-AM/President-Obama-s-Unfriendly-Foreign-Policy-Toward-Israel/td-p/402663018

    http://www.bibleprophecyblog.com/2010/11/as-president-obama-hits-israel-again.html

  54. @Wayne:

    1. The fact that Obama stated that the US opposed the UN vote on a unilateral declaration of statehood is objectively pro-Israel.

    2. The fact that he called out Hamas was an objectively pro-Israel position.

    3. Fundamental US policy, which is objectively pro-Israel, has not been changed.

    You are going to have to refute those facts before I go chasing links (although I am highly unlikely to find posts as The American Thinker [sic] and Bible prophecy sites to be especially illuminating on this subject).

  55. Dr. Taylor, I believe the tribal hatreds will die very hard, and forty years is still a very short amount of time. It is a dodge only in the sense that I lacked the time or the interest to go into a fuller exposition. I see Egypt just opened the border to Gaza. This is probably not such a good thing.

    Do I deny the cold war ended? Of course not. But I would also posit that Iran and its agents are just as dangerous or moreso now to Israel as the pan-Arabism of say, Nasser, was back in the 60’s and 70’s. Israel only has to be wrong once and it is over for them.

    Is the international system different now than in 1973. Of course, in some ways, not so much in others. Different does not mean better. My apologies for lacking the skills to state more clearly what I am trying to communicate..

    Like others I find it curious that Israel doesn’t get more support as the only democracy in the region

  56. Miguel Madeira says:

    The big difference from 1973 – Israel has nukes.

  57. Wayne says:

    @Steven as I already said “Stating for political reason that you support someone then taking many opportunities to bash and undercut them is not supporting them.”

    I’m not the only one who thinks so either. I talking not only people in this Country but others. If Obama was so Pro-Israel, please explain the cold reaction he received from their PM?

  58. Ok, so to be “pro-Israel” means having to make Netanyahu happy? Netanyahu=Israel?

    But beyond that, you utterly ignore my 3 points.

  59. Eric Florack says:

    What Exactly are the 1967 Borders?

    Israeli Suicide.

  60. anjin-san says:

    please explain the cold reaction he received from their PM?

    Sure. Obama was not wiling to let Netanyahu dictate US policy. Netanyahu would be much happier dealing with someone like Palin, who would. Not a big mystery.

  61. Eric Florack says:

    . At what point in Israel’s history, has land for peace, ever done anything but give up Israeli land and security? We are dealing with several groups who all have sworn themselves to the destruction of Israel. note that at no time have they ever stopped their attacks on Israel despite previous land for peace deals. Does anyone truly believe that what has failed so often before to create peace in the region is going to do so now?

    There is only one thing that is going to satisfy these people. That is the utter destruction of Israel. Returning to the 67 borders would accomplish that, frankly, albeit in slow motion

    At some point it needs to be admitted that there are some people in the world with whom piece is unachievable, no matter how good a job of boot licking is performed on them.

  62. Eric Florack says:

    Sure. Obama was not wiling to let Netanyahu dictate US policy.

    Perhaps it slipped your attention that his reaction to Obama was specifically because Obama was trying to dictate Israeli policy? The funny thing is that Obama immediately wimped out… It’s as Jen Rubin noted the other day:

    On the BBC last night, Obama immediately nixed his definitive language on the 1967 borders and reverted to language that sounded more in tune with that of former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush:

    To the BBC, the president said, “The basis for negotiations will involve looking at that 1967 border, recognizing that conditions on the ground have changed and there are going to need to be swaps to accommodate the interests of both sides. That’s on the one hand and on the other hand, and this was an equally important part of the speech, Israel is going to have to feel confident about its security on the West Bank and that security element is going to be important to the Israelis.”

    The president said that the Israelis “will not be able to move forward unless they feel that they themselves can defend their territory particularly given what they have seen happen in Gaza and the rockets that have been fired by Hezbollah.”

    That is as sure a sign as any that the speech was an overstep, and a misstep, that the Israelis are infuriated and that Obama is now in a pinch.

    I would strongly advise reading the entire article.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/post/damage-control-on-the-middle-east-speech/2011/03/29/AFDuUm7G_blog.html#pagebreak

  63. @Eric:

    At what point in Israel’s history, has land for peace, ever done anything but give up Israeli land and security

    Well, there was that whole peace deal with Egypt. No minor thing that. As you may recall, Israel returned a rather sizable bit of real estate (the Sinai) and there have been no more hostilities between the two states (i.e., peace).

    And there is still the minor problem of what to do with the over 2 million Palestinians in the West Bank (i.e., as defined by the aforementioned 1967 line). What do you think should happen to them?

  64. anjin-san says:

    Well, there was that whole peace deal with Egypt.

    Introducing facts into the discussion? Good luck with that…

  65. Eric Florack says:

    Well, there was that whole peace deal with Egypt.

    Which is now history, once the Aab Brotherhood rises to power, there. Tell us, how is Israel to defend against attacks from the Sinai, now? Obviously, they cannot.

    Or, within it, either.

  66. Eric Florack says:

    Facts? You can’t handle the trut, Anin. You’ve proved that several times over.

  67. @Eric:

    Actually, you are proving him right. Instead of accepting a clear, factual refutation of your claim, you launch forth into speculation.

  68. Tik says:

    This is a post I wrote, that might be of interest. It digs a bit deeper in to the controversy over the 1967 borders :http://mideastreports.wordpress.com/2011/05/30/what-do-1967-borders-really-mean/

  69. Davod says:

    ‘Well, there was that whole peace deal with Egypt.

    Introducing facts into the discussion? Good luck with that…”

    What did Arafat learn from the Egypt-Israel peace treaty, that he will be killed by Arabs if he signed a treaty.