Abba Eban Called 67 Borders
NEW YORK – The Saudi Arabian peace plan which is now circulating would reduce Israel to the indefensible pre-1967 borders, which would leave Israel barely nine miles wide at its vulnerable midsection.
Morton A. Klein, National President of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) said: Abba Eban had good reason when he referred to the pre-1967 borders as Auschwitz linesthose borders are so narrow and indefensible that in a future war, Israel could suffer massive destruction and unimaginable casualties.
The Saudi plan for an Israeli retreat to the pre-1967 borders would also include the redivision of Jerusalem. The Arabs would gain control of the historic Old City section of Jerusalem (known as eastern Jerusalem), which includes the holiest sites in Judaism, the Temple Mount and the Western Wall. That area also includes the historic Jewish Quarter and the Mount of Olives cemetery, which is the oldest Jewish cemetery in the world.
According to media descriptions of the Saudi plan, the Arabs would agree to full normalization of relations with Israel. This smacks of historical amnesia, ZOA president Klein noted. Egypt, Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority already agreed to full normalization of relations with Israel when they signed their peace treaties with Israel in 1979, 1993, and 1994, respectively. Yet neither Egypt, Jordan, nor the PA have ever fulfilled their obligation to have normal relations. Now the Saudis are trying to sell Israel the same rug again.
The ZOA president said that the Saudi Arabian plan is an obvious public relations ploy, designed to enhance the image of Saudi Arabia and the Arab world in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks, since so many of the terrorists were Saudi nationals and so many Arabs celebrated the attacks. He also pointed out that, far from bringing peace, an Israeli retreat to the indefensible pre-1967 borders would encourage further Arab attacks and lead to an all-out war.
* Israeli Prime Ministers Called Retreat to the Pre-1967 Borders Suicide and Treasonable: Then-Prime Minister Menachem Begin described a proposal for a retreat to the pre-1967 borders as national suicide for Israel. Then-Prime Minister Golda Meir said the pre-1967 borders were so dangerous that it would be treasonable for an Israeli leader to accept them. (New York Times, Dec. 23, 1969) Then-Foreign Minister Abba Eban said the pre-1967 borders have a memory of Auschwitz. (Der Spiegel, Nov.5, 1969)
* Israel Would Be Just Nine Miles Wide: A retreat to the pre-1967 borders would leave Israel just nine miles wide at its mid-section. Israel could be cut in two by an Arab tank charge in just minutes. Arab forces would be positioned all along Israels eastern border, including the areas that contain 70% of Israels population, including Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Haifa.
* Israel Would Be Stripped of its Eastern Defenses: Israel would be stripped of its protective Judea-Samaria mountain ranges. U.S. Lieut.-General Thomas Kelly, director of operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the Gulf War, has pointed out that Israel would be virtually indefensible without those mountainous areas: I look out from those heights and look onto the West Bank and say to myself, If Im the chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces, I cannot defend this land without that terrain. They only have to go to the high ground running north and south in the middle of the country in order to dominate the country. So I dont know about politics, but if you want me to defend this country, and you want me to defend Jerusalem, Ive got to hold that high ground.
Shortly after the 1967 war, U.S.Defense Secretary Robert McNamara asked the Joint Chiefs of Staff to analyze which of the administered territories Israel needed to keep for its security. Regarding Judea-Samaria, the Joint Chiefs concluded: Control of the prominent high ground running north-south through the middle of West Jordan [the West Bank] and then southeast to a junction with the Dead Sea would provide Israel with a militarily defensible border.
* A New Terrorist State Would Be Created: According to the Saudi plan, once Israel retreats to the pre-1967 borders, an independent Palestinian Arab state would be established in the vacated areas. Such a state would have its own army and would be able to import large quantities of weapons (such as those on Arafats ship of terror that Israel intercepted in January 2002). A new Arafat state, like his current Palestinian Authority regime, would be a brutal Muslim dictatorship that would torture dissidents, silence newspapers that deviate from Arafats line, and persecute Christians. It would have warm relations with the most anti-American regimes in the world, including Iraq, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Libya, North Korea, and Cuba.
* Israels Water Supply Would Be Endangered: A significant portion of Israels water originates in Judea-Samaria. A retreat to the 1967 borders would leave these crucial Israeli water sources under Arab control.
* Jewish Religious Rights Would Be Endangered: Israelis remember all too well how Jews were barred from Hebron and the Old City of Jerusalem when Arab forces occupied those areas during 1948-1967. More recently, the Palestinian Authority has already destroyed one key Jewish religious site, the Tomb of Joseph, turning it into a mosque and barring Jews from the area. The ancient Shalom al-Yisrael synagogue in PA-controlled Jericho has also been burned down. PA officials have called for banning Jewish prayer from Jerusalems Western Wall and Hebrons Cave of the Patriarchs, and PA police officers regularly carry out shooting attacks on the Tomb of Rachel, near Bethlehem. If Israel retreats to the pre-1967 borders, the Arafat state which is established will undoubtedly prevent Jews from access to their religious sites.