Thursday, October 28, 2021

  • Thursday, October 28, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon


In a press release on Monday denouncing Israel advancing a plan to build houses in Judea and Samaria, the EU stated - as it has literally hundreds of times before - "The European Union has consistently made clear that it will not recognise any changes to the pre-1967 borders, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by both sides."
The EU has used that phrase for as long as it has existed in its current form - literally hundreds of times. The specific language here is taken from a 2011 EU resolution supporting Palestinian statehood.

When resolutions such as that one are drafted, there are committees that meet for days or months crafting the language to be as precise as possible. 

Why does the EU consistently refer to a set of borders that never existed?

Before 1967, Israel existed behind the 1949 armistice lines. Those lines were - at Arab insistence! - not borders.  The Jordanian-Israel agreement said, quite explicitly, "The Armistice Demarcation Lines defined in articles V and VI of this Agreement are agreed upon by the Parties without prejudice to future territorial settlements or boundary lines or to claims of either Party relating thereto." 

There was similar language in Israel's agreement with Egypt. But that was superseded by the Israel-Egypt peace treaty, which did demarcate international borders between the two.

What about the lines between Jordan and Israel?

The 1994 peace agreement between the two seems to be very clear-cut: 
 
Annex I (a)
Israel-Jordan International Boundary Delimitation and Demarcation
1. It is agreed that, in accordance with Article 3 of the Treaty, the international boundary between the two states consists of the following sectors:

A. The Jordan and Yarmouk Rivers B. The Dead Sea C. The Emek Ha'arva/Wadi Araba D. The Gulf of Aqaba
This agreement does two things: it supersedes the 1949 armistice agreement that is the source of the "pre-1967 borders" myth, and it defines the international borders between Israel and Jordan to be the Jordan River, Dead Sea and so forth.

Not between "Palestine" and Jordan - between Israel and Jordan.

There is a tiny caveat, which does not seem to have any legal impact on the actual borders defined:
 The orthophoto maps and image maps showing the line separating Jordan from the territory that came under Israeli Military government control in 1967 shall have that line indicated in a different presentation and the legend shall carry on it the following disclaimer: "This line is the administrative boundary between Jordan and the territory which came under Israeli military government control in 1967. Any treatment of this line shall be without prejudice to the status of the territory."

The agreement is not saying that the boundary between Israel and Jordan is in question. It is instructing any maps created based on this agreement to include language that says Judea and Samaria's legal status has not been determined. 

Under accepted international law, maps themselves are generally regarded as evidence, but have no legal value in and of themselves. The text in a map does not have the same weight as a legal agreement, unless it is attached as part of the agreement itself. The ICJ ruled as such in 1986. 

The crucial point is that there was no such map attached to the agreement itself. Without that, the agreement text is the only legal definition of the border between Israel and Jordan - meaning that under international law, Israel's border ends where Jordan's begins. 

Whatever legal status Judea and Samaria have, the 1949 armistice lines were not legal boundaries (borders) in 1949, nor in 1967, and certainly not after this 1994 agreement. 

The EU knows this. It calls the 1949 armistice lines "borders" anyway. 

Which means that the EU is knowingly lying about the facts to push its own political agenda of creating a Palestinian state on borders that never existed in any way.

In any other context, this would be a huge scandal. But when it comes to Israel, facts suddenly become optional and narratives are what drives EU resolutions. 

(h/t Irene)








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