Sunday, March 19, 2006
Jimmy Carter and UN Security Council Resolution 242
Regular readers will be familiar with my disdain for former US President Jimmy Carter. There really seems no end to his nonsense. Carter has been voted the most unpopular ex-President, Dr. James Laney of Emory University said "I mean, it wasn't just that he was unpopular. People avoided him... he was a loser." Yet today, the same man is an admired figure in America and around the world, an elder statesman whose name is synonymous with honesty, integrity, and service to others. For some reason his words have resonance, I would love to know why.
Carter's latest nonsense is titled 'Colonization of Palestine precludes peace', where Carter claims that an absence of peace has been purely the fault of the Israelis. Of course Carter is allowed to voice his opinion, but when his opinion becomes intertwined with faulty facts we must be concerned.
The opening paragraph says it all and sets the tone, Carter recants "For more than a quarter century, Israeli policy has been in conflict with that of the United States and the international community. Israel's occupation of Palestine has obstructed a comprehensive peace agreement in the Holy Land, regardless of whether Palestinians had no formalized government, one headed by Yasser Arafat or Mahmoud Abbas, or with Abbas as president and Hamas controlling the parliament and cabinet."
Carter then says "universally adopted UN Resolution 242 has mandated Israel's withdrawal from the occupied territories."
Now lets take that statement apart.......
The most consistent rejection of Resolution 242 came from the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), which from its inception in 1964 refused a peaceful settlement with Israel.
Now for a list of all those who disagree with Carter's interpretation of UN Security Council Resolution.
1) Arthur J. Goldberg, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations (1965-1967)- "the resolution speaks of withdrawal from occupied territories, without defining the extent of withdrawal." ("The Meaning of 242", June 10, 1977)
2) Lord Caradon, author of the draft resolution that was adopted as U.N. Resolution 242, U.K. Ambassador to the United Nations (1964-1970)- ""We didn't say there should be a withdrawal to the '67 line; we did not put the 'the' in, we did not say all the territories, deliberately." (MacNeil/Lehrer Report - March 30, 1978)
3) Eugene V. Rostow, U.S. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs (1966-1969)- "It is, therefore, not legally possible to assert that the provision requires Israeli withdrawal from all the territories now occupied under the cease-fire resolutions to the Armistice Demarcation lines." (American Journal of International Law, Volume 64, September 1970, p. 69)
"The USSR and the Arabs supported a draft demanding a withdrawal to the 1967 Lines. The US, Canada and most of West Europe and Latin America supported the draft which was eventually approved by the UN Security Council." (American Society of International Law - 1970)
4) The Russian delegate Vasily Kuznetsov acknowledged before the adoption of Resolution 242- "there is certainly much leeway for different interpretations which retain for Israel the right to establish new boundaries and to withdraw its troops only as far as the lines which it judges convenient."
5) The Brazilian delegate Geraldo de Carvalho Silos, told the Security Council after 242's adoption- "We keep constantly in mind that a just and lasting peace in the Middle East has necessarily to be based on secure, permanent boundaries freely agreed upon and negotiated by the neighbouring States."
6) George Brown, British Foreign Secretary in 1967 commented- "I have been asked over and over again to clarify, modify or improve the wording, but I do not intend to do that. The phrasing of the Resolution was very carefully worked out, and it was a difficult and complicated exercise to get it accepted by the UN Security Council. I formulated the Security Council Resolution. Before we submitted it to the Council, we showed it to Arab leaders. The proposal said 'Israel will withdraw from territories that were occupied', and not from 'the' territories, which means that Israel will not withdraw from all the territories." (The Jerusalem Post, 23.1.70)
7) Lyndon B. Johnson, U.S. President (1963-1968)- "We are not the ones to say where other nations should draw lines between them that will assure each the greatest security. It is clear, however, that a return to the situation of June 4, 1967 will not bring peace." (September 10, 1968)
So there we have Carter's "universally adopted UN Resolution 242 has mandated Israel's withdrawal from the occupied territories." Quite universally un-mandated for Israel to withdraw from the occupied territories.
You will find lower in the blog that the BBC Board of Governors has actually reprimanded its own online news service for saying exactly what Carter has repeated in his 'opinion' piece.
There is so much more that is faulty with Carter's article, but time and space does not permit me to rip every falsity that is spun from Carter's pen.