Monday, June 20, 2011

Why Israel Cannot Go Back to Pre-1967 Borders

Thinking Outside the Blog exists to not only make comments on current events - political and religious - but to also provide historical information on the Middle East conflict. It is my conviction that much discussion on the news and in the blogosphere is based on a lack of accurate historical information. I fear that individuals form their opinions about the Palestinian/Israeli conflict from last night's evening news sound bytes.

I am most concerned with President Obama's suggestion that Israel return to its pre-1967 borders.  Those borders are shown on the following map:

One can see from this map that there was not much area between the borders of the West Bank to the Mediterranean Sea. Hostile Palestinian forces or other terrorist entities in the West Bank had the advantage over Israel since some of the land area between the West Bank and Israel's West Coast was as small as 9 miles (Netanya is one example)!

Israel needs defensible borders to prevent ground assaults.  Israel's return to pre-1967 borders would provide Arab states and the Palestinians with the ability to launch ground and missile attacks on the Jewish state with ease.

The most effective military strategy by Israeli's enemies would be to attack at the narrowest point using ground troops and cut Israel in half, thus isolating northern and southern Israel with an enemy military zone in the middle.

 I cannot emphasize enough that with the pre-1967 lines, the boundaries of the West Bank would be 9 miles of the Israeli coast, 11 miles from Tel Aviv, 10 miles from Beersheba and 21 miles from Haifa.

Consequently, Israel needs to push its border as far East as possible in order to be put some distance between the Israeli population and the Palestinian capability of ground or missile attacks.

While living in Hollywood, CA when I first moved to the West Coast, I would be very concerned if missiles were being fired over the Hollywood Hills from northern Van Nuys. I would want to put as much distance as possible from the source of these missile attacks and myself, In addition,  I would want military troops stationed as close to Van Nuys as possible to control any enemy attacks and engage the enemy. I would also support checkpoints for individuals leaving Van Nuys and trying to enter Hollywood with evil designs to cause more havoc.

In the next map from 2002 one can see the importance of Israel maintaining a buffer zone of security between the West Bank and Jordan.

It should not be any surprise that attacks by Arab states were more frequent before 1967.  Prior to the Six Day War Palestinian attackers used Syria and Jordan as a home base for attacking Israel.

Another important reason Israel cannot go back to the pre-1967 borders is that Israel would have to give up its present-day  system of early warning radar set up in the hills of Judea and Samaria.

With this early warning system Israel can maintain its ability to deploy surface-to-air missiles in the case of attack by an Arab state.

In addition, the citizens of Israel are given enough time to relocate to places where shelter is provided from incoming missiles after being warned by an air raid warning.  If Israel was to give back the locations where the early warning radar is set up, the Jewish state would give up its own security.

Based on this 2002 map of modern day Israel one observes the need for Israel to maintain a military presence in the Jordan River Valley to the east of the West Bank.  Without this military presence there would be no security between Israel and Jordan.  Terrorist groups would have open access to enter the country through the West Bank.

Israel must maintain its military control, not occupy, the adjoining areas to the West Bank.

To put things in proper perspective, I've included another map of Israel, but this one shows the area Israel controlled after the Six Day War. In comparison, this map shows shows what territories Israel has already given up.

During the Six Day War Israel took military control over the Sinai, Gaza and the West Bank.  In post Six Day War peace negotiations Israel gave back 94% of the land that came under IDF control.

Now two million Arabs live in the West Bank. In recent years, the infiltration of Palestinian terrorists from the Palestinian Authority has increased. May of these infiltrators have included suicide bombers.  In addition, 1.5 million Arabs live in Israel itself in such towns as Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

Also, since the 1993 Oslo Accords, Israel has withdrawn from 40% of the West Bank. The Oslo Accords were:

. . . .  a framework for the future relations between the two parties. The Accords provided for the creation of a Palestinian National Authority (PNA). The Palestinian Authority would have responsibility for the administration of the territory under its control. The Accords also called for the withdrawal of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) from parts of the Gaza Strip and West Bank.

In a post Six  Day War world, Israel has returned to the Palestinians a vast amount of formerly Israeli controlled territory.

To return back to the pre-1967 borders would be suicide for Israel. The Jewish state would lose its military security which is a necessity as long as Israel is adjoined to the Palestinian state under the control of the self-proclaimed terrorist organization, Hamas.

Thus far Hamas has given Israel no indication that Israeli citizens will be free from terrorist attacks from radical Palestinians nor has Hamas renounced it failure to recognize the Jewish state or to back off from their goal to destroy Israel.

Unless there is a change in the stance of Hamas, Israel can never go back to the pre-1967 borders for the sake of the security of the Jewish state and its citizens - both Arab and Jewish.


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