May 25, 2011

Return to Pre-'67 Borders?

Joseph FarahBy Joseph Farah

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Barack Obama officially affirms the Arab demand that Israel return to pre-1967 borders – a measure almost anyone familiar with the geography of the Middle East understands would represent suicide for the Jewish state.

Putting aside common sense for a moment, let's think about this from a historic sense.

Why is 1967 such an important year in history in the Middle East?

Because that is the year Israel, after being threatened with invasion by mobilizing Egyptian and Syrian armies, won a stunning pre-emptive, six-day war against numerically superior forces – reuniting Jerusalem, reclaiming the traditional Jewish territory of Judea and Samaria and taking control of the Golan Heights, a mountain range used by Syria as a strategic invasion point.

In other words, 1967 represents the last point in history when Israel had indefensible and completely arbitrary borders.

That's why Barack Obama likes the 1967 borders. That's why the '67 borders have been a rallying cry of the anti-Israel fanatics in the Middle East and around the world for so long. They understand the best way to destroy Israel is to shrink it to the point of indefensibility – of what I call "Auschwitz borders."

Nothing really new here, except that Barack Obama is the first occupant of the White House to demand Israel retreat to these new boundaries as a reward for unrelenting Arab aggression. Even the Palestinian leadership does not offer peace for such an exchange. Whether it's Fatah or Hamas, they have one goal – the annihilation of the state of Israel and the Jewish people. All the Middle East belongs to Islam forever, according to their warped, murderous, 7th-century worldview.

As an Arab-American whose ancestors fled the Middle East for a life of freedom in the U.S. I think I have a better idea.

As I was researching the history of the land of Israel, I found an interesting factoid.

In the year A.D. 67, Roman General Vespasian, along with 60,000 soldiers, invaded Israel and conquered its northern territories, killing old and young Jews alike and selling the rest as slaves. Eventually, the Romans would conquer the entire land of Israel and, finally, in the year A.D. 70, destroyed Jerusalem and the Jewish Temple.

That began history's longest exile of any people – almost 1,900 years.

No other nation in the history of the world has come back from that kind of diaspora. I believe it is the strongest evidence in the world that God's hand has been on this people since the days of Abraham and Sarah.

How else can one even begin to explain such a miracle – especially since it was prophesied repeatedly in the Bible that the Jewish state would be born again "in one day."

But I digress.

I would like to suggest that the pre-'67 borders are OK with me – as long as we are talking about A.D. 67, not 1967.

After all, it was the Jewish people who were massacred and deprived of their homeland beginning in A.D. 67. They hadn't even recovered the entirety of those lands in 1967. Even today, many of the historic Jewish lands – I would say lands that rightfully belong to the Jews – are in the hands of their enemies. Those enemies destroy religious and archaeological sites. They use the neighboring lands to terrorize and attack Israeli civilians. They serve as beachheads to more inevitable invasions in the future.

So I suggest we're picking the wrong date for a border realignment for Israel.

Israel's post-1967 borders weren't even as large as the borders the United Nations mandated for the newly born Jewish state in 1948 – when it was attacked by the entire Arab world. So what's so special about 1967?

How about 1973 when Israel conquered even more land it has already returned? Why not go back to those borders? Why is the target being asked to make sacrifices to appease the arrows? How has that land-for-peace idea worked out for Israel so far?

I suggest a safe and secure Israel is a better guarantee of peace than an isolated and vulnerable Israel.

That's why the pre-67 borders are OK with me – as long as we're talking about A.D. 67.

Related Links

Turkey ditches Assad, calls off participation in Gaza flotilla - DEBKAfile
Egyptians to Reopen Gaza Border Crossing - National Review Online
Obama dumped by big Dem donor - American Thinker
John Bolton: "Netanyahu .. exposed broader flaws in Obama’s worldview" - Atlas Shrugs
WEST BANK: Palestinians call on U.N. to implement 1967 borders proposal - Los Angeles Times