It is quite amazing how many misconceptions can be packed into one [Financial Times] editorial (“The real price of Middle East peace,” Nov. 17).
First, “land for peace” never intended that Israel, after being the victim of aggression in 1967, should return to the vulnerable former armistice lines; on the contrary, Security Council Resolution 242 expressly stated that Israel would not be required to withdraw from all “the territories occupied in the recent conflict” and that any withdrawals would be to “secure boundaries.” As Lord Caradon stated at the time: “I know the 1967 border very well. It is not a satisfactory border.” Israel being anywhere in the territories, at least until a permanent agreement will be negotiated, is certainly not “illegal.”
Second, what should be a basic truism is that as long as the Palestinians will not rid themselves of the vestiges of “Arafatism” and stop terror, violence and incitement, they should not expect the U.S., Britain, and the rest of the free world, including Israel, to help them in attaining statehood. Lastly, by virtue of history, morality, and legality, the Jewish people would have had every right to claim all the land between the Mediterranean and the Jordan river. But while all Israeli prime ministers always supported compromise of some sort, either functional or territorial, for the sake of peace and reaching an understanding, the Arabs did not.