(Communicated by the Deputy Foreign Minister's bureau)
In reaction to recent statements about Israel's "illegal occupation" of the West Bank or the attempts to enshrine the Green Line as a basis for negotiations, Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon penned an Op-ed in the Wall Street Journal titled "Israel's Rights to the 'Disputed' Territories".
The article makes clear that "the land now known as the West Bank cannot be considered "occupied" in the legal sense of the word as it had not attained recognized sovereignty before Israel's conquest." Furthermore, the basis for all negotiations between Israel and its Arab neighbors, and subsequently the Palestinians, was United Nations Security Council resolution 242. As the Deputy Foreign Minister makes clear, all of the drafters and opponents of the resolution stated that Israel would not have to return to the pre-1967 lines. The more a false perception persists, the less likely there is to be a negotiated peace.
"There is this perception that Israel is occupying stolen land and that the Palestinians are the only party with national, legal and historic rights to it," Ayalon states. "Not only is this morally and factually incorrect, but the more this narrative is being accepted, the less likely the Palestinians feel the need to come to the negotiating table."