Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East.
(From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Friday, 20 July 2018

David Singer: Trump and Putin Focus on Syria, Israel, Arab-Jewish Conflicts

Here's the latest article by Sydney lawyer and international affairs analyst David Singer.

He writes:

Defusing the Syria–Israel conflict and resurrecting the primacy of Security Council Resolution 242 in resolving the Arab-Jewish conflict have emerged as positive outcomes from the Trump-Putin summit in Helsinki this week.

President Putin expressed America and Russia’s joint resolve with this succinct statement
“The south of Syria should be brought to the full compliance with the treaty of 1974 about the separation of forces, about separation of forces of Israel and Syria. This will bring peace to Golan Heights. And bring more peaceful relationship between Syria and Israel and also to provide security of the state of Israel. Mr. President paid special attention to the issue during today’s negotiations. I would like to confirm that Russia is interested in this development and this will act accordingly. Thus far, we will make a step toward creating a lasting peace in compliance with the respective resolutions of security council, for instance the resolution 338.”
Article 1 of the 1974 Syria-Israel Separation of Forces Agreement provides:
“Israel and Syria will scrupulously observe the cease-fire on land, sea and air and will refrain from all military actions against each other, from the time of the signing of the document, in implementation of United Nations Security Council resolution 338 dated October 22, 1973.”
Security Council Resolution 338 – adopted following the 1973 Yom Kippur War:
“Calls upon all parties concerned to start immediately after the cease-fire the implementation of Security Council Resolution 242 (1967) in all of its parts;
Article 1 of Security Council Resolution 242 – adopted following the 1967 Six Day War:
“Affirms that the fulfilment of Charter principles requires the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East which should include the application of both the following principles:
(i) Withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict;
(ii) Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgment of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognised boundaries free from threats or acts of force;”
When Security Council Resolution 242 was passed on 22 November 1967
1.The Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) was not the sole spokesman for the Palestinian Arabs – having only being so appointed at the 7th Arab League Summit held in Rabat in October 1974.
2.Arabs living in Judea and Samaria (West Bank) (“Territories”) were Jordanian citizens and possessed Jordanian passports following these Territories being unified with Transjordan on 24 April 1950 and subsequently being renamed Jordan.
3.The PLO was expressly not claiming territorial sovereignty in the Territories or Gaza – Article 24 of the PLO Charter proclaiming: “This Organisation does not exercise any regional sovereignty over the West Bank in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, on the Gaza Strip or the Himmah Area. Its activities will be on the national popular level in the liberational, organisational, political and financial fields. 
4.No additional Arab State in former Palestine – in addition to Jordan – was contemplated.
5.Hamas had not been founded.
Resolution 242 still contains the only internationally agreed formula for peacefully ending the 100-years-old Arab-Jewish conflict.

A conference to resolve this long-running conflict in accordance with Resolution 242 – co-chaired by America and Russia – would see Israel and every Arab State in the area attending but would exclude non-States PLO and Hamas.  Such a conference now looms as a possible Trump-Putin initiative – putting Trump’s unannounced “ultimate deal” on the back-burner.

Going back to November 22, 1967 could indeed be the key to resolving the 100 years old Arab-Jewish conflict.

Author’s note: The cartoon – commissioned exclusively for this article—is by Yaakov Kirschen aka “Dry Bones”- one of Israel’s foremost political and social commentators –  whose cartoons have graced the columns of Israeli and international media publications for decades. His cartoons can be viewed at Drybonesblog


  1. I can see the merit of Resolution 242...though think that Israel would be stark raving mad, to ever return the Golan Heights...

  2. Graham

    The first thing to do is get Israel and the neighbouring Arab States sitting down and negotiating without preconditions. This has not happened since Resolution 242 was adopted on 22 November 1967. It surely is time to do so now.

    On 1 May 1968, the Israeli ambassador to the UN expressed Israel's position to the Security Council: "My government has indicated its acceptance of the Security Council resolution for the promotion of agreement on the establishment of a just and lasting peace. I am also authorized to reaffirm that we are willing to seek agreement with each Arab State on all matters included in that resolution."

    Regrettably the Arab States did not similarly respond.

    If Trump and Putin can jointly prevail on the Arab States to change their minds - then perhaps an end to the Arab-Jewish conflict is possible.


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