Thursday, July 25, 2013

  • Thursday, July 25, 2013
  • Elder of Ziyon
I guess this is to be expected.

I had written to the EU this letter:
I notice that in a number of official EU documents regarding the Middle East, the phrase "1967 borders" or "pre-1967 borders" is used repeatedly. I am very surprised by this, since you undoubtedly know that there were no agreed borders for Israel before 1967, and they were only armistice lines from the 1948 war. Borders were always meant to be defined in the context of peace agreements between Israel and her neighbors, as indeed they eventually were with Egypt and Jordan.

Could you explain your use of a clearly incorrect term, and will you be correcting this error - both in the future and retroactively?

Here is their response:
Thank you for your message. Please find below response of the relevant unit within the Euroepan External Action Service:

As stated in various Council Conclusions, in the context of the Middle East peace process the agreed EU position envisages an agreement on the borders of the two states (Israel and Palestine), based on the June 4 1967 lines with equivalent land swaps as may be agreed between the parties. The EU has stressed that it will not recognise any changes to these lines unless agreed by the parties. Though essentially corresponding to the 1949 Armistice Line as far as these concerns the division between Israel and the West Bank, the reference to 1967 has become more customarily used by the international community.

We hope you find this information useful. Please contact us again if you have other questions.
They sent this exact same message to others.

It is interesting that they use the word "lines" in the response, which implies that they know that there were no borders, but they aren't quite willing to admit the error.

So I wrote back:
Thank you for your reply.

Unfortunately, you are not answering my question. In your reply you refer to the lines as "lines," and you say that the EU envisages an agreement based on the June 4 "lines," you do not address your repeated use, in official EU documents, of the word "borders" in reference to those very lines.

The issue isn't whether you are referring to the 1949 armistice lines or the June 4, 1967 lines - the issue is referring to those lines as "borders" which you do repeatedly.

You seem to admit that they are not, and never were, borders. Is that what you are saying? And if so, will you be careful to refer only to them as "lines" in the future? Moreover, will you be correcting the many previous documents you have released that erroneously call these lines "borders"?

I assume you can appreciate the importance of being accurate in this matter. It is not merely a question of semantics. The 1949 armistice lines were never accepted as borders for a reason, even in UN resolutions, and giving them more importance after the fact - pretending that they had the legal standing of borders - is serious indeed. It is nothing less than changing history to fit better with the EU's current position, and that is what is offensive about this repeated reference to "borders."
We'll see if they respond more substantively.

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