Sept. 28, 2005
The Editor,
The Halifax Herald.
Dear Editor:
Howard Heyman [opinion article, Sept.27] claims that the quotes, by Israeli leaders, that are included in my comment [Sept. 16] are incomplete and out of context, but shows no evidence supporting this baseless claim. The statements I quoted were made by Israeli leaders directly related to the question of who planned and initiated the June 1967 war, which was the issue in question. These statements are accurate and come from authentic Israeli and international sources. The fact that I have quoted them previously, and to local and international media, is a direct outcome of the repeated statements by Israel's apologists, who insist on contradicting the leaders of Israel who were directly responsible for that war.
As to Security Council resolution #242, I quoted the preamble to the resolution which emphasises " the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war." This is confirmed in the text of the resolution included in the Editor's note. As to the guarantee of security for all states in the region, the Arab League states, as I indicated, offered Israel, in their Beirut Summit in 2002, full security and diplomatic relations if Israel complied with resolution #242 and withdrew from territory it illegally occupied in June 1967.
Mr. Heyman is correct in stating that the June 4, 1967 borders are armistice lines and not internationally recognised borders of Israel. The only Israeli borders that are in accordance with international law are those stipulated in the UN Partition Scheme resolution #181, of Nov.29,1947. Interestingly, Israel was admitted to UN membership in UN resolution # 273, of May 11,1949, conditional on its implimentation of resolution # 181 and resolution # 194, which stipulates the Rightof Return for the Palestinian refugees who were ethnically cleansed from their homeland in 1948. To this day, Israel refuses to implement either of these two resolutions, thus it can be reasonably argued that its UN membership is illegitimate.
Finally, I want to call on Israel's apologists that it is time for all to understand that peace and security for Israelis and Arabs in the Middle East, and for the world at large, can be guaranteed if there is a modicum of justice for the Palestinian people who have for decades lived in refugee camps or under oppressive illegal occupation. I am encouraged to know that there are many Israeli thinkers who are calling on Israel to comply with international law, so that all the people in that tortured land can live together in peace.
Yours sincerely,
Ismail Zayid, MD.
----- Original Message -----

Tuesday, September 27, 2005 Back The Halifax Herald Limited

Give and take key to peace


Ismail Zayid often quotes people and texts incompletely and out of context. The quotes by various Israeli leaders he cited in his Sept. 16 opinion article have also appeared in letters written to the CBC (Dec. 8, 2000) and to the Globe and Mail (March 23, 2002).

More disturbing, however, is his use of a portion of UN Resolution 242 to claim that to comply with the resolution, Israel must unilaterally withdraw to the "June 4, 1967, borders." (Actually, there were only armistice lines in 1967, since no peace treaties had been signed after the 1948-49 fighting between Israel and the surrounding states.)

As Lord Caradon of Britain, sponsor of the draft resolution, stated in the Security Council before the vote was taken, " the Resolution is a balanced whole. To add or detract from it would destroy the balance and also destroy the wide measure of agreement we have achieved together. It must be considered as a whole as it stands."

Arthur Goldberg, the U.S. representative, stated in the Security Council during the discussions on Resolution 242, "To seek withdrawal without secure and recognized boundaries would be just as fruitless as to seek secure and recognized boundaries without withdrawal. Historically, there have never been secure or recognized boundaries in the area; neither the armistice lines of 1949 nor the ceasefire lines of 1967 have answered that description such boundaries have yet to be agreed upon. An agreement on that point is an absolute essential to a just and lasting peace, just as withdrawal is "

To achieve real peace, there must be give and take on both sides of the dispute. This, unfortunately, is something Ismail Zayid fails to recognize in his letters and articles on the topic.

Howard Heyman lives in Chester.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005 Back The Halifax Herald Limited

UN Security Council Resolution 242

Editor's note: For the record, below is the full text of UN Security Council Resolution 242, which was unanimously adopted on Nov. 22, 1967:

The Security Council,

Expressing its continuing concern with the grave situation in the Middle East,

Emphasizing the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war and the need to work for a just and lasting peace in which every State in the area can live in security,

Emphasizing further that all Member States in their acceptance of the Charter of the United Nations have undertaken a commitment to act in accordance with Article 2 of the Charter,

Affirms that the fulfillment 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:

Withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict;

Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force;

Affirms further the necessity

For guaranteeing freedom of navigation through international waterways in the area;

For achieving a just settlement of the refugee problem;

For guaranteeing the territorial inviolability and political independence of every State in the area, through measures including the establishment of demilitarized zones;

Requests the Secretary General to designate a Special Representative to proceed to the Middle East to establish and maintain contacts with the States concerned in order to promote agreement and assist efforts to achieve a peaceful and accepted settlement in accordance with the provisions and principles in this resolution;

Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Security Council on the progress of the efforts of the Special Representative as soon as possible.