UN Resolution 242 Is Recognized as the Key UN Resolution on the Israeli-Arab Conflict

(Jerusalem Post) Yonah Jeremy Bob - In an article to be published soon in the Chicago Journal of International Law, Prof. Eugene Kontorovich of Northwestern University compares UN Security Council Resolution 242 to all 18 other Security Council resolutions dealing with territorial withdrawals and finds that the resolution was unique in its ambiguity as to how much territory Israel needs to withdraw from, with other resolutions being explicit about a full withdrawal. Kontorovich cites five pre-1967 UN resolutions obligating withdrawals, noting that the USSR had to withdraw from "the whole" of Iran, and that Belgium had to withdraw from "the territory" of Congo. In contrast, the intentional dropping of "the" in 242 and leaving out of a set date or geographic marker shows that the UN intentionally left the issue vague. Former UN Ambassador and Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs president Dore Gold responded to the article, saying, "Unfortunately there are voices that believe the whole discussion of the absence of the definite article 'the' in 242 is being picky. What they don't understand is that the language of the resolution was drafted at the highest levels of the U.S. government at the time." "It was no less than LBJ [President Lyndon Johnson] who held firm and insisted that the language be 'withdrawal from territories' without the word 'the' to limit the withdrawal obligation." "Kontorovich has come onto something extremely important which reinforces the traditional Israeli interpretation of 242."

2015-01-06 00:00:00

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