President Obama has asked the Israelis to negotiate a peace agreement with the Palestinians based on the 1967 borders. The Israelis have refused and many, including a cartoon in this newspaper, have criticized Obama. The relevant history shows why this criticism is not warranted.
After World War I Britain was given control of Palestine under a mandate from the League of Nations. Britain's job was to prepare Palestine for independence and democracy.
Britain's job was frustrated by Zionist terrorists who wanted Britain out so they could take over. For instance, the Zionists bombed the King David Hotel in Jerusalem in July 1946. Finally, after World War II the British gave up and turned the problem over to the newly formed United Nations.
After much study the U.N. proposed partitioning Palestine between the Zionists and the Palestinians. President Truman, who needed Jewish support in a very close 1948 presidential race, supported the U.N. partition plan.
Upon implementation of the partition plan war broke out between the Jews and surrounding Arab states. At the end of the war the Jews, now constituted as the State of Israel, controlled more territory than was allotted to them under the plan. This territorial arrangement, however, was recognized internationally and remained in place until June 1967.
At that time another war broke out and this time Israel expanded its borders substantially. They took over the West Bank and the Golan Heights. These have remained occupied territories since then and Israel has begun colonizing them with the establishment of numerous Jewish settlements.
Following the 1967 war the U.N. acting through Security Council Resolution 242 called for Israel to withdraw to the June 1967 borders. That resolution has been followed by numerous subsequent resolutions, all of which have been ignored by Israel and the United States, until now. President Obama has now called for a settlement based on the 1967 borders. He said the exact borders can be adjusted by agreed territorial swaps, but those borders should be the baseline or negotiations.
This is a sensible plan that no previous president, Democrat or Republican, has dared recommend because of the immense power of the Jewish lobby in the U.S. The plan is in the American national interest and deserves our support.