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January 3, 2014

In-Depth Issues:

Ex-Israeli Envoy: Israel Killed Most Perpetrators of Argentina Bombings (Jerusalem Post)
    Israel has killed most of the perpetrators responsible for the deadly attacks on its embassy and on the Argentine Jewish Charities Federation (AMIA) building in Buenos Aires, former Israeli ambassador to Argentina Itzhak Aviran said on Thursday.
    "The large majority of those responsible are no longer of this world, and we did it ourselves," Aviran told the Buenos Aires-based AJN Jewish news agency.
    In March 1992, a car bomb in front of the Israeli embassy killed 29 people and wounded 200. In July 1994, a bombing at the Asociacion Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA) killed 85 people and injured 300.
    Argentina suspects Iran is behind both bombings.

Bomb Explodes in Hizbullah Neighborhood of Beirut, Killing Four - Loveday Morris and Liz Sly (Washington Post)
    A car bomb killed at least four people in the Shiite neighborhood of Haret Hreik in southern Beirut on Thursday, the second bombing in the city within a week.
    Health Minister Ali Hassan Khalil said 77 people were injured, 10 critically.

Egypt Accuses Hamas of Supporting Terrorists Who Attacked Mansoura (Al-Ahram-Egypt)
    Egyptian Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim has accused the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas of providing logistical support to terrorists who killed 16 people and injured more than 130 when a suicide car bomb exploded near the security directorate in Mansoura on Dec. 24.
    He added that Muslim Brotherhood member Amer Mosaad has admitted receiving weapons training in Gaza.
    See also Report: Egypt Destroyed Hamas Arms Warehouses in Sinai (Times of Israel)
    Hamas is believed by Egyptian authorities to have assisted in an intricate Muslim Brotherhood scheme, dating back to 2005, to take over Egypt and "terrorize" it, according to a criminal indictment issued against deposed Muslim Brotherhood President Morsi last month.
    In recent months, Egyptian security forces destroyed a number of Hamas arms warehouses in Sinai, Israeli officials told The Times of Israel.

Israel, U.S. Conduct Successful Joint Test of Arrow 3 Interceptor Missile (Times of Israel)
    A successful test flight of the Arrow 3 interceptor missile was conducted Friday in a joint operation by the Israel Missile Defense Organization and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency.
    The Arrow 3's high-altitude capability makes it an ideal counter to nuclear missiles, since the altitude minimizes the threat of fallout from the missile's destruction.

Prague to Demand Explanation over Arms Cache at Palestinian Envoy's Home - Adiv Sterman (Times of Israel)
    The Czech Foreign Ministry expressed concern Thursday over the discovery of a large, illegal weapons stockpile at the home of the Palestinian ambassador in Prague, Jamel al-Jamal, a day after he was killed in an explosion there.
    Respekt, a Czech weekly newspaper, reported that the discovered arsenal was enough to arm a unit of 10 men.

Major Iranian Arms Cache Seized in Bahrain - Sandeep Singh Grewal (Gulf Daily News-Bahrain)
    On Dec. 30, Bahraini authorities announced that they had discovered large amounts of weapons, including Iranian-made explosives, Syrian bomb detonators, Kalashnikovs, C-4 explosives, Claymore mines, hand grenades, circuit boards for use in bomb-making, armor-piercing explosives, TNT and a raft of other materials used to manufacture bombs.
    Some of the arms were seized at sea. Others were found during a raid on an illegal weapons depot.

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Israel to Slow Water Desalination - Avi Bar-Eli (Ha'aretz)
    After two years of relatively heavy rainfall, the government will be reducing the amount of water it buys from the country's four desalination plants by 30% this year.
    "The decision on reducing desalinized water purchases at this time was made possible due to a considerable improvement in natural water sources and a wide range of additional sources [such as treated wastewater and brackish water] that ensure the stable and integrative management of all water sources in the country," the Israel Water Authority said.
    While a fifth desalinization plant is under construction, further plans to expand desalination capacity have been put on hold.

Build in Jerusalem - Nadav Shragai (Israel Hayom)
    Jews are living in Jerusalem and other cities and towns in Israel because of our bond and right to the land itself, not for the sake of security.
    There's a struggle going on today in Jerusalem and its environs for urban contiguity.
    Some 18,000 Jews leave the city every year. There is great demand for housing and minimal supply. The Jewish majority is shrinking all the time.

El Al Israel Airlines Flew 4 Million Passengers in 2013 (eTurboNews)
    El Al Israel Airlines flew 4 million people to and from Israel in 2013, up 4.3% from 2012.
    12.6 million passengers traveled to and from Israel on 90,000 international flights this year, up 8% from 2012.
    The other airlines serving Israel include Turkish Airlines - 562,000 passengers (up 56% from 2012), Arkia - 492,000, Lufthansa - 340,000, Ukraine Air - 331,000 (up 158%), United - 322,000, Air France - 309,000, Alitalia - 307,000, easyJet - 306,000 (up 51%), and Pegasus - 303,000.
    Other airlines that fly to Israel are Aegean Air - 260,000, British Airways - 260,000, Swissair - 256,000, Aeroflot - 248,000 (up 54%), Israir - 243,000, Delta - 237,000, Transaero - 232,000, Austrian Airlines - 218,000, Air Berlin - 163,000, and US Airlines - 151,000.

Israeli Apps Winning Awards for Innovation, Creativity - Hayley Slier (Channel NewsAsia-Singapore)
    Israel is very successful when it comes to creating mobile phone apps.
    Israeli-made Waze, which was sold to Google for more than $1 billion, is the largest community-based traffic app on the globe.
    Viber, Onavo, Gettaxi and Tirecheck have all been created in Israel and downloaded by millions around the world.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • While Kerry Pushes Peace Talks, Israeli Leader Airs Criticism - Michael R. Gordon and Isabel Kershner
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel delivered a harsh assessment of his Palestinian counterpart and implicitly the prospect of a Middle East peace agreement as Secretary of State John Kerry arrived on Thursday to intensify his push for a "framework" accord that would define the principles of a comprehensive treaty. "There's growing doubt in Israel that the Palestinians are committed to peace," Netanyahu said. "In the six months since the start of peace negotiations, the Palestinian Authority continues its unabated incitement against the State of Israel."  (New York Times)
        See also Netanyahu: PA Is Not Preparing Palestinians for Peace
    At the start of his meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: "A few days ago in Ramallah, President Abbas embraced terrorists as heroes. To glorify the murderers of innocent women and men as heroes is an outrage."
        "I'm wondering what a young Palestinian would think when he sees the leader of the Palestinian people embrace people who axed innocent men and women, axed their heads or blew them up or riddled them with bullets. What's a young Palestinian supposed to think...about what he should do vis-a-vis Israelis?...Instead of preparing Palestinians for peace, Palestinian leaders are teaching them to hate Israel."  (Prime Minister's Office)
  • Hizbullah Moving Long-Range Missiles from Syria to Lebanon - Anne Barnard and Eric Schmitt
    Hizbullah has been moving long-range missiles to Lebanon from Syria, including Scud D missiles that can strike deep into Israel, Israeli security analyst Ronen Bergman, who has close contacts with Israeli intelligence officials, said Thursday. The missiles being moved also include Scud C's, medium-range Fateh rockets that were made in Iran, Fajr rockets and shoulder-fired antiaircraft weapons.
        Israel struck inside Syria at least five times in 2013, seeking to destroy weapons systems bound for Hizbullah. (New York Times)
        See also U.S. Officials: Hizbullah Moved Advanced Anti-Ship Missiles into Lebanon - Adam Entous, Charles Levinson and Julian E. Barnes
    U.S. officials believe Hizbullah is smuggling advanced guided-missile systems into Lebanon from Syria piece by piece to evade an Israeli air campaign designed to stop them. As many as 12 antiship guided-missile systems have already been moved to Lebanon, according to previously undisclosed intelligence, while other systems that could target Israeli aircraft, ships and bases are being stored in expanded weapons depots under Hizbullah control in Syria. Such guided weapons would be a major step up from the unguided rockets Hizbullah now has.
        U.S. officials say Iran's Quds Force has been directly overseeing the shipments to Hizbullah warehouses in Syria. (Wall Street Journal)
  • International Investors Flock to Tehran - Susanne Koelbl
    Although none of the sanctions have been lifted, droves of Western business people are already flocking to Tehran. Iran has the world's fourth-largest known oil reserves, and the second-largest gas reserves. Business deals worth billions of euros can be made here.
        The planes from Europe are "full of Italians," says Daniel Bernbeck, head of the German-Iranian Chamber of Industry and Commerce in Tehran, including managers from Italian energy giant Eni. In a deal worth billions, the French are about to renew their licensing contract for supplying Peugeot components to Iranian carmaker Iran Khodro. "And the Americans are already here with ExxonMobil, Chevron Corporation and other U.S. companies," he says, adding: "They are responsible for renovating the old oil production facilities and refinery industry, as well as exploring new oil fields. That's a huge multibillion-euro business."  (Der Spiegel-Germany)
  • Parts of Two Key Iraqi Cities Fall to Qaeda Group Active in Syria - Yasir Ghazi and Tim Arango
    Radical Sunni militants aligned with al-Qaeda threatened Thursday to seize control of Falluja and Ramadi, two of the most important cities in Iraq, setting fire to police stations, freeing prisoners from jail and occupying mosques. Both cities are in the western province of Anbar. Nearly one-third of the American soldiers killed in the war died trying to pacify Anbar, and Americans fought two battles for control of Falluja. The Sunni militants fought beneath the same banner as the most hard-line jihadists they have inspired in Syria - the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS. (New York Times)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • 14 Arrested in Bat Yam Bus Bombing - Yoav Zitun
    The Israel Security Agency has arrested 14 men for involvement in the blast on a bus in Bat Yam last week. Four are senior Islamic Jihad operatives, residents of Bethlehem. Ten others, who were involved in the details of the plan, include Negev Bedouin.
        The explosive was prepared by brothers Sahada and Hamadi Taamri, with Yosef Salamah, who used two kg. of improvised detonation material, nails and screws, and had a switch attached to a cellphone to activate the bomb remotely. Sami Harimi infiltrated into Israel through the southern Hebron Hills, with the bomb hidden in a black bag. Harimi then got into the car of a Bedouin man, an Israeli citizen who helps Palestinians illegally in Israel, and the two drove to Jaffa. After praying in a Jaffa mosque, Harimi got on bus No. 240, laid the bomb, got off a few minutes later, and then called the cellphone that was attached to the bomb, triggering the explosion.
        Harimi was arrested several days later in Bethlehem and said the group wanted to execute a larger attack in Tel Aviv a few days after the Bat Yam explosion, but their arrests hindered their plans. Israeli security forces found 25 kg. of explosives meant for further attacks. The Taamri brothers had been in prison in Israel previously. Sahada was in training to become an officer with the Palestinian police. The Bedouin who drove the perpetrator was not aware of his passenger's terror plans. (Ynet News)
        See also Terror Attack Plotted Under the PA's Nose - Ron Ben-Yishai
    The group that attempted to execute the terror attack in Bat Yam organized right under the Palestinian Authority's nose, and one of the main suspects is in the PA's police program. The PA's security mechanisms should have picked up on some of the intended sabotage that they were planning, even before they got to the stage of executing the plan. The bombing failed only thanks to the awareness of the citizens on the bus. (Ynet News)
  • PLO: We'll Ignore "Worthless" Framework Deal - Khaled Abu Toameh
    On the eve of Secretary of State John Kerry's meeting with PA President Mahmoud Abbas, the PLO said that the Palestinians wouldn't pay attention to a "worthless" framework agreement presented by the U.S. PLO Secretary-General Yasser Abed Rabbo claimed Kerry's plan gives the Israelis control over the Jordan Valley and restricts Palestinian sovereignty over the territories. "No Palestinian state will be created without Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley," he said.
        Palestinian sources told the Palestinian daily Al-Quds that the "most dangerous" part of the "blueprint" is Israel's demand that the Palestinians recognize it as a Jewish state. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Israel Retaliates for Palestinian Rocket Fire from Gaza - Yoav Zitun
    On Thursday evening, Palestinians in Gaza launched a Kassam rocket at southern Israel. In retaliation for the Palestinian rocket fire, the IDF launched airstrikes on three Gaza targets. Military sources reported that rocket launchers and observation posts were destroyed. "The terror group Hamas is the address and it is the accountable entity," an IDF statement said. (Ynet News)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

    Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations

  • Kerry Versus Rabin on Israel's Security - Kenneth Levin
    Former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, like the authors of UN Security Council Resolution 242 - still the foundation stone of Israeli-Arab peace negotiations - recognized that Israel's pre-1967 armistice lines left the nation too vulnerable to future aggression. He insisted Israel must hold onto a significant portion of the West Bank to block traditional invasion routes and to protect both Jerusalem and the low-lying coastal plain, home to some 70% of the nation's population.
        In his last speech in the Knesset before his assassination, Rabin declared: "The borders of the State of Israel, during the permanent solution, will be beyond the lines which existed before the Six-Day War. We will not return to the 4 June 1967 lines. And these are the main changes, not all of them, which we envision and want in the permanent solution: A. First and foremost, united Jerusalem, which will include both Ma'ale Adumim and Givat Ze'ev - as the capital of Israel, under Israeli sovereignty, while preserving the rights of the members of the other faiths, Christianity and Islam, to freedom of access and freedom of worship in their holy places, according to the customs of their faiths."
        "B. The security border of the State of Israel will be located in the Jordan Valley, in the broadest meaning of that term. C. Changes which will include the addition of Gush Etzion, Efrat, Beitar and other communities, most of which are in the area east of what was the "Green Line," prior to the Six-Day War. D. The establishment of blocs of settlements in Judea and Samaria [the West Bank]."
        Nothing has changed in the last 18 years that would diminish Israel's need to retain the areas referred to by Rabin. The topography of the region has not changed, and the nations around Israel have not become more peaceful or more reconciled to Israel's existence. Prime Minister Netanyahu's vision of defensible borders for Israel essentially conforms to the parameters laid out by Rabin. Dr. Kenneth Levin is a psychiatrist and historian. (Times of Israel)
  • Ehud Barak Stressed Need for IDF Troops in Jordan Valley - Avi Issacharoff
    The fate of the Jordan Valley, and the wider issue of security arrangements, are emerging as a major obstacle in the path of the indefatigable Secretary of State John Kerry's peace efforts. Gen. John Allen's painstakingly drafted security proposals have not produced a breakthrough. Both sides are insisting on keeping the Jordan Valley.
        In 2007, the IDF's Planning Directorate drew up Israel's security overview ahead of a peace treaty with the Palestinians that specified the need for an ongoing IDF presence in the Jordan Valley for a lengthy but undefined period. On the basis of that overview, then-Defense Minister Ehud Barak drew up a document, which became known as the "Eight Points," which he discussed with President Bush when he visited in January 2008. Barak stressed to Bush the imperative for IDF troops to remain in the Jordan Valley for the long term - a generation, according to some Israeli sources - to ensure no influx of terrorists or weaponry.
        In taking this position, Barak was merely reiterating the stance that had prevailed since the Yitzhak Rabin era in the early 1990s. And it holds today: A senior Israeli official said this week that if there is no Israeli presence in the Jordan Valley, "there will be rivers of blood."  (Times of Israel)
  • Kerry's Framework: Reservations on All Sides - Dan Margalit
    Israeli officials are not overly concerned by the prospect of a U.S. template for an agreement. They point to 2011, when then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton unveiled a peace plan of sorts. Israel largely accepted it, with various reservations; the Palestinians rejected it. This begs the question, do reservations even matter?
        Israel has promised to release prisoners in what it calls a "gesture to the Palestinians," but we all know this was designed to placate Kerry. The coupling of the prisoner release to increased construction in the West Bank can be traced to an American idea. Contrary to some reports, Netanyahu has never offered to exchange Israeli Arab towns for settlement blocs, primarily because he knows it to be a futile endeavor. Israeli Arabs will forever prefer to live as Israeli citizens over becoming residents of a Palestinian state.
        Israel, it seems, would like the U.S. to finish drafting the agreement so that both sides can add their reservations and then sign it. But the Palestinians want the agreement - and its reservations - to be nothing more than a verbal understanding. (Israel Hayom)
  • Two Types of Negotiators: Warriors and Shopkeepers - Guy Bechor
    British diplomat and author Harold Nicolson believed there were two types of negotiators: Warriors and shopkeepers. Warriors use negotiations to improve their position ahead of the next stage of the conflict, while shopkeepers try to reach an agreement which will satisfy everyone. Warriors see an agreement as a temporary stage, shopkeepers hope to end the conflict through it.
        The Palestinian Authority comes to the negotiations as warriors. It is interested in expelling 700,000 Jews from the West Bank and replacing them with one or two million Palestinians from Syria, Lebanon and the Arab world. Israel wants to end the conflict, but the PA wants to strengthen itself in order to intensify the conflict. Its goal is to go on with the plan to destroy Israel in stages. The writer heads the Middle East Division at the Lauder School of Government at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya. (Ynet News)

  • Other Issues

  • Rocky Road to a Nuclear Deal - Steven Ditto
    As the nuclear negotiations move forward, the P5+1 faces the central challenge of extracting Iranian concessions on its nuclear program. For U.S. policymakers, this requires ensuring continued buy-in to the multilateral sanctions regime until a comprehensive and lasting agreement is reached. Should Iran suspect weakening Western resolve to maintain the sanctions, such as in Italy's efforts to reinvigorate trade and investment with Iran before the completion of a nuclear deal, then Tehran could feel a reduced urgency to reach a comprehensive solution. By contrast, if such outreach to Iran is made conditional on a full resolution of the nuclear impasse, then the P5+1's leverage will be enhanced. (Washington Institute for Near East Policy)
  • Egypt and the Threat of Islamic Terror - Shaul Shay
    According to Israeli and Egyptian intelligence, most of the terror groups operating today in the Sinai Peninsula have an organizational base in Gaza. Some of the groups have weapons caches there, while others operate training camps. In addition, the Egyptian military has specific information indicating that members of prominent terror outfits, some affiliated with al-Qaeda, are hiding in Gaza.
        What began as shooting attacks have now developed into suicide attacks and huge car bombings. The U.S. and the international community must support the Egyptian regime in the war against terror, to prevent the different radical Islamic groups from turning Egypt into a theater of jihad like they did in Syria. Col. (res.) Dr. Shaul Shay, a research associate at the BESA Center, is a former Deputy Head of the Israel National Security Council. (Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies-Bar-Ilan University)
  • The West Misunderstands the Nature of the Muslim Brotherhood - Zvi Mazel
    The Muslim Brotherhood's avowed goal since the creation of the movement in 1928 has been to impose Islamic law, first on Egypt, then the rest of the world, turning it into a Muslim-ruled caliphate. The fall of Hosni Mubarak paved the way for the dream to come true; the Brotherhood won both parliamentary and presidential elections. But instead of dealing with Egypt's pressing economic and social problems, the Brotherhood made an all-out effort to turn the country into a religious dictatorship.
        Barely a year later, President Mohamed Morsi was arrested and the government toppled by the people, aided and abetted by the army. The Brotherhood refused to accept their defeat and launched a series of violent protests, followed by terror operations that have already caused the death of 350 members of the police and military forces. The interim regime first banned their activities and then declared the Brotherhood a terrorist organization.
        The U.S. and EU, representing the so-called enlightened world, are turning their back on Egypt, though it is fighting their common enemy, radical Islam. The writer is a former Israeli ambassador to Romania, Egypt and Sweden. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Bashar Al-Assad: An Intimate Profile of a Mass Murderer - Annia Ciezadlo
    Bashar Al-Assad is weak; the polite phrasing, among educated Syrians, has always been that he "does not have the qualities of a leader." That is to say, he does not have the gravitas of his ruthless father, Hafez Al-Assad, who ruled the country from 1970 until June 2000. Other Syrians put it less delicately. They call him donkey, giraffe, a big, bumbling doofus.
        What outsiders have been slow to realize is that in the game Assad is playing, a weak man (or one perceived that way) can cling to his throne just as tenaciously, and violently, as a strongman. This nebbishy second son, who was never meant to inherit the family regime, has proved exceptionally talented in the art of self-preservation. (New Republic)
  • Behind Assad's Comeback, a Mismatch in Commitments - Adam Entous and Siobhan Gorman
    The Hizbullah surge to bolster Assad represented a turning point in the Syria conflict, giving the Syrian leader enough strength to survive, though not enough to prevail. Now, at the end of 2013, Syria stands as a tale of mismatched commitments. Syria has become a shattered state riven into sectarian enclaves, radicalized by war, and positioned to send worrisome ripples out across the Middle East for years to come, say current and former U.S. officials.
        Intelligence assessments that once showed Assad on the verge of defeat now say he could remain in power for the foreseeable future in key parts of the country bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean coast. The civil war could last another decade or more, based on a CIA analysis that recently departed Deputy Director Michael Morell privately shared with lawmakers.
        The White House was unwilling to commit significant resources to back opposition fighters, wary of getting drawn into another conflict in the region or inadvertently backing violent extremists. Meanwhile, Assad's key backers - Iran and Hizbullah - spared no expense to save their ally. (Wall Street Journal)
  • Israeli Study of Foreign Fighters in Syria Suggests Shiites May Outnumber Sunnis - William Booth
    A group of former military intelligence analysts in Israel have produced new estimates of the growing phenomenon of foreign fighters waging civil war in Syria. According to the study released this week by the Meir Amit Intelligence and Information Center in Tel Aviv, there are currently 6,000 to 7,000 Sunni foreign fighters in Syria battling President Assad. The number of Shiite foreigners fighting on Assad's behalf is estimated at 7,000 to 8,000.
        Experts say that, far more than Afghanistan or Iraq in decades past, Syria's rebel movement is drawing thousands of young men to fight. Why? "Because it is cheap, and it is easy," said Reuven Erlich, director of the center. "You can make jihad for the price of a plane ticket to Istanbul."
        The Israelis estimate that 500 to 700 foreign fighters have been killed in Syria. In 2013 there were at least 16 suicide bomb attacks carried out by foreign fighters from Jordan or Saudi Arabia. (Washington Post)
        See also Foreign Fighters in Syria (Intelligence and Information Center)
  • Jesus of Palestine? - Clifford D. May
    Over Christmas, PA President Mahmoud Abbas called Jesus "a Palestinian messenger." When did the name "Palestine" begin? In 130CE, about a century after the crucifixion of Jesus, there was a Jewish rebellion against Roman imperialism. Simon Sebag Montefiore, in Jerusalem: The Biography, writes that hundreds of thousands of Jews were killed in battles with Roman forces and "so many Jews were enslaved that at the Hebron slave market they fetched less than a horse."
        The Roman emperor, Hadrian, was determined to wipe "Judea off the map, deliberately renaming it Palaestina, after the Jews' ancient enemies, the Philistines." And who were the Philistines? They were "Sea People, who originated in the Aegean" and sailed to the eastern Mediterranean, where they "conquered the coast of Canaan."
        In other words, Jesus was born a century before the region was renamed Palestine. That makes calling him a Palestinian akin to calling a 15th-century Algonquin Indian a New Englander. And Jesus was certainly no Philistine. Based on all the evidence, he was a Jew. The writer is president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. (Israel Hayom)

Israel's Rights in the Territorial Dispute with the Palestinians - Dore Gold (Israel Hayom)

  • What exactly are Israel's rights in its territorial dispute with the Palestinians over the future of the West Bank? Those rights were enshrined in UN Security Council Resolution 242. Over the years the resolution evolved into the basis of the entire peace process, including the 1979 Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty, the 1991 Madrid peace conference, the 1993 Oslo Accords, the 1994 Jordanian-Israeli peace treaty, and draft agreements with Syria.
  • Resolution 242's withdrawal clause did not call on Israel to pull back to the pre-war 1967 lines. As U.S. UN ambassador and former Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg stated: "The resolution stipulates withdrawal from occupied territories without defining the extent of withdrawal."
  • Any Israeli withdrawal had to be to "secure and recognized borders." Israel had rights to retain some West Bank territory, so that at the end of the day it could obtain defensible borders in any future political settlement. The issue was settled in direct communications between U.S. President Lyndon Johnson and Soviet Prime Minister Alexei Kosygin.
  • There were no land swaps in Resolution 242. According to the resolution, Israel was entitled to this territory without having to pay for it with its own pre-1967 territory.
  • Nor was there any corridor crossing Israeli sovereign territory so that the West Bank could be connected to Gaza (just as there is no land corridor across Canada connecting Alaska to the rest of the U.S.). These diplomatic innovations were thought of by negotiators in the 1990s, but Israel in no way is required to agree to them.

    The writer, a former Israeli UN ambassador, is president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.
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